Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
This novel coronavirus is still new and as such we are still learning more about it.
Symptoms reported in identified cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus include:
- a cough
- sore throat
- shortness of breath
Anyone who has travelled overseas in the past 14 days, and feels unwell, should see a doctor immediately. Before your appointment, please call ahead and advise of your symptoms and recent travel so they can prepare for your visit.
People with suspected novel coronavirus will be tested.
Who is most at risk
In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the virus are those who have:
- recently been in in a high risk country or region (mainland China, Iran, Italy or Korea)
- been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19
Based on what we know about coronaviruses, those most at risk of serious infection are:
- people with compromised immune systems (such as people who have cancer)
- elderly people
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (as they have higher rates of chronic illness)
- people with chronic medical conditions
- people in group residential settings
- people in detention facilities
To help protect people most at risk, we have recommended limits on public gatherings and visits to vulnerable groups.
There is no specific treatment for COVID-19 infection. Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections. However, most of the symptoms can be treated with medical care.
There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19 novel coronavirus.
Read about COVID-19 coronavirus prevention.
- Frequently asked questions: COVID-19 novel coronavirus
- For global up-to-date information on COVID-19 novel coronavirus visit the WHO.
- For up-to-date Australian information and resources on COVID-19 novel coronavirus visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.