The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causes coronavirus disease 19, abbreviated as COVID-19. COVID-19 symptoms are similar to symptoms of a common cold at first. However, the disease can cause severe pneumonia, which can be fatal.
People with COVID-19 often have symptoms such as:
- Cold symptoms (nasal cold, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat)
- Shortness of breath
- Elevated temperature or a fever (above 38 degrees Celsius)
- Sudden loss of taste and smell (without nasal congestion)
The spread of COVID-19:
A person who is ill from the novel coronavirus produces millions of copies of the virus inside their body. The virus is mainly found in the lungs, but also in other ‘moist’ parts of your body, such as your throat or nasal cavity. When you sneeze or cough, you are not just pushing out air: lots of droplets also come out of your lungs, throat or nasal cavity. The novel coronavirus spreads through these droplets.
If other people inhale those droplets, or get them in their mouth, nose or eyes, for example via their hands, they could become infected with the virus.