What is the difference with Coronavirus and the flu?

The World Health Organisation have helped clear up some misconceptions.
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Before we begin, if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms/fever and you have travelled overseas in the last 30 days or have been in close contact with someone who has, please call your local doctor/hospital directly.

WATCH BELOW: 7 simple steps to prevent the spread of Coronavirus

What is Coronavirus?

The World Health Organisation says: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans.

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

The government have identified the new illness as a pandemic. (Credit: Getty)

Coronavirus Symptoms

The World Health Organisation (WHO) have listed the below symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breathing difficulties

In severe cases, symptoms become more advanced:

  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome
  • Kidney failure pneumonia
  • Death

Influenza (the flu)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) have listed the below symptoms:

  • Fever (often with abrupt onset)
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
(Credit: Mayo Clinic)

How do I protect myself?

The Australian Government have issued the following statement:

Everyone must practise good hygiene to protect against infection and prevent the virus spreading. If you have a confirmed case, you need to isolate yourself to prevent it spreading to other people.

The Australian government have issued out the following tips.

Good hygiene includes:

  • covering your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
  • disposing of tissues properly
  • washing your hands often with soap and water, including before and after eating and after going to the toilet
  • using alcohol-based hand sanitisers
  • cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
  • if you are sick, avoiding contact with others and staying more than 1.5 metres away from people
  • clean and sanitise frequently used objects such as mobiles, keys and wallets
Simple things like washing your hands can help stop the virus from spreading.

What is social distancing:

  • staying at home when you are unwell
  • avoiding large public gatherings if they’re not essential
  • keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people whenever possible
  • minimising physical contact, especially with people at higher risk such as older people and people with existing health conditions

How does Corona virus spread?

  • close contact with an infectious person (including in the 24 hours before they started showing symptoms)
  • contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze. touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face
The World Health Organisation believe a cure could take 18 months.

Is there a cure?

Scientists from around the world are working on developing a vaccine. The World Health Organisation believes this may be available within 18 months. The government advises that you get the flu shot when it’s available to you. They note: Getting the flu and COVID-19 at the same time can make you very ill.

Coronavirus Health Information Line

Call this line if you are seeking information on coronavirus (COVID-19). The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 1800 020 080. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.

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