English - Novel Coronavirus COVID-19













About novel coronavirus, now called COVID-19

At the end of December 2019 Chinese authorities reported a cluster of serious respiratory infections of unknown cause in Wuhan-city, Hubei province, in China. The causative agent has since been identified, a novel coronavirus, that can causes a respiratory disease now called COVID-19. This virus is likely to have spread from animals to humans and is confirmed to spread from person to person. Many questions are unanswered, such as which animal was the source of the virus and how many of those infected become seriously ill.

Coronaviruses are a fairly common cause of respiratory infections such as the common cold in humans, but when new variants spread from animals to humans coronavirus infections can be quite serious. This illness has spread to other regions in China and outside of China with people with connections to Wuhan. Most cases outside of China have occurred in Asia, but the World Health Organization (WHO) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have urged public health authorities to prepare to respond quickly if the illness spreads further.

COVID-19 cases are numbered in the thousands, a great majority in Hubei province. Health care workers who have taken care of patients with this illness have been infected. Those who have died until now have had serious underlying illnesses.

There is no specific treatment for coronavirus infections and there is no vaccine for COVID-19. To avoid infection with coronavirus, as for influenza, general hygiene measures are very important. Handwashing and/or alcohol-based hand sanitizers are most helpful. Travellers to affected areas are urged to avoid contact with animals, alive or dead, especially in animal markets as well as contact withill individuals. Hand hygiene after contact with common surfaces, such as in airports, can also reduce the risk of transmission. See information for travelers.

Individuals in Iceland who belive they may be infected with COVID-19 or who have been in areas affected by COVID-19 or in close contact with other people who have been in affected areas should read the information on this page.

Further information can be requested from svl@landlaeknir.is

Síðast uppfært 28.03.2020