Novel coronavirus COVID-19

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About novel coronavirus, now called COVID-19

At the end of December 2019 Chinese authorities identified a cluster of serious respiratory infections of unknown cause in Wuhan-city in China. The causative agent has since been identified, a novel coronavirus, now called COVID-19. This virus is likely to have spread from animals to humans and is confirmed to be 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.

At the end of December 2019 Chinese authorities identified a cluster of serious respiratory infections of unknown cause in Wuhan-city in China. The causative agent has since been identified, a novel coronavirus, now called COVID-19. This virus is likely to have spread from animals to humans and is confirmed to be 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 colds 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 Control (ECDC) have urged public health authorities to prepare to respond quickly if the illness spreads further.

COVID-19 cases are numbered in the hundreds, a great majority in Wuhan-city. Health care workers who have taken care of the 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 helpful. Travelers to affected areas are urged to avoid contact with animals, alive or dead, especially in animal markets as well as sick 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 believe they may have been infected with COVID-19 should read the guidance on this page.

Further information can be requested from svl@landlaeknir.is


Fyrst birt 23.01.2020

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