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  • COVID-19 (more specifically, a coronavirus) is the disease identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected.

    The term novel coronavirus means it’s a new type of coronavirus which hasn’t been previously detected. Coronavirus is family of viruses and the reason people may have seen ‘Human Coronavirus’ on labels is that this refers to previous strains of the virus.

    There are several names being used for this novel coronavirus. The World Health Organization has called the disease COVID-19 but the virus itself is called SARS-CoV-2 so It can be confusing but most people are calling it the novel coronavirus.

    There is significant global media attention on the spread of Coronavirus, which has led to justifiable consumer concern about the risks from COVID-19 and an ‘Infodemic’. Fears about the risks from this outbreak, and the scale of the public health challenge, have resulted in a significant increase in people seeking information about what to do to protect and prevent the virus.

    Anyone can get COVID-19, regardless of race or skin colour. Older people and people with other health conditions, such as asthma, heart diseases and diabetes, are more at risk of getting seriously ill.

    There is no evidence that taking anti-HIV drugs will stop you getting COVID-19. Although some ART drugs are being trialled for use to treat COVID-19, there is no evidence yet that they are effective for this purpose.