What is the coronavirus?

What Is Coronavirus?

Infectious Diseases
Coronaviruses are a type of virus. There are many different kinds, and some cause disease. A coronavirus identified in 2019, SARS-CoV-2, has caused a pandemic of respiratory illness, called COVID-19.

What are symptoms of coronavirus?

COVID-19 symptoms include:

Cough
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
Sore throat
New loss of taste or smell
Diarrhea
Headache
New fatigue
Nausea or vomiting
Congestion or runny nose
Some people infected with the coronavirus have mild COVID-19 illness, and others have no symptoms at all. In some cases, however, COVID-19 can lead to respiratory failure, lasting lung and heart muscle damage, nervous system problems, kidney failure or death.

Prevention
To prevent the spread of COVID-19:
Maintain a safe distance from others (at least 1 metre), even if they don’t appear to be sick.
Wear a mask in public, especially indoors or when physical distancing is not possible.
Choose open, well-ventilated spaces over closed ones. Open a window if indoors.
Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
Get vaccinated when it’s your turn. Follow local guidance about vaccination.
Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
Stay home if you feel unwell.

Masks
Properly fitted masks can help prevent the spread of the virus from the person wearing the mask to others. Masks alone do not protect against COVID-19, and should be combined with physical distancing and hand hygiene. Follow the advice provided by your local health authority.

Eat fresh and unprocessed foods every day
Eat fruits, vegetables, legumes (e.g. lentils, beans), nuts and whole grains (e.g. unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat, brown rice or starchy tubers or roots such as potato, yam, taro or cassava), and foods from animal sources (e.g. meat, fish, eggs and milk).

Daily, eat: 2 cups of fruit (4 servings), 2.5 cups of vegetables (5 servings), 180 g of grains, and 160 g of meat and beans (red meat can be eaten 1−2 times per week, and poultry 2−3 times per week).

For snacks, choose raw vegetables and fresh fruit rather than foods that are high in sugar, fat or salt.

Do not overcook vegetables and fruit as this can lead to the loss of important vitamins.

When using canned or dried vegetables and fruit, choose varieties without added salt or sugar.

Drink enough water every day
Water is essential for life. It transports nutrients and compounds in blood, regulates your body temperature, gets rid of waste, and lubricates and cushions joints.

Drink 8–10 cups of water every day.

Water is the best choice, but you can also consume other drinks, fruits and vegetables that contain water, for example lemon juice (diluted in water and unsweetened), tea and coffee. But be careful not to consume too much caffeine, and avoid sweetened fruit juices, syrups, fruit juice concentrates, fizzy and still drinks as they all contain sugar.

Eat moderate amounts of fat and oil
Consume unsaturated fats (e.g. found in fish, avocado, nuts, olive oil, soy, canola, sunflower and corn oils) rather than saturated fats (e.g. found in fatty meat, butter, coconut oil, cream, cheese, ghee and lard).

Choose white meat (e.g. poultry) and fish, which are generally low in fat, rather than red meat.

Avoid processed meats because they are high in fat and salt.

Where possible, opt for low-fat or reduced-fat versions of milk and dairy products.

Avoid industrially produced trans fats. These are often found in processed food, fast food, snack food, fried food, frozen pizza, pies, cookies, margarines and spreads.

Eat less salt and sugar
When cooking and preparing food, limit the amount of salt and high-sodium condiments (e.g. soy sauce and fish sauce).

Limit your daily salt intake to less than 5 g (approximately 1 teaspoon), and use iodized salt.

Avoid foods (e.g. snacks) that are high in salt and sugar.

Limit your intake of soft drinks or sodas and other drinks that are high in sugar (e.g. fruit juices, fruit juice concentrates and syrups, flavoured milks and yogurt drinks).

Choose fresh fruits instead of sweet snacks such as cookies, cakes and chocolate.

Avoid eating out
Eat at home to reduce your rate of contact with other people and lower your chance of being exposed to COVID-19. We recommend maintaining a distance of at least 1 metre between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. That is not always possible in crowded social settings like restaurants and cafes. Droplets from infected people may land on surfaces and people’s hands (e.g. customers and staff), and with lots of people coming and going, you cannot tell if hands are being washed regularly enough, and surfaces are being cleaned and disinfected fast enough.