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Infectious Diseases

Updated 18 March 2020

8 must-read stories on the new coronavirus from this week

Now that South Africa has confirmed its first case of the Covid-19 virus, how worried should we be? Here is a weekly roundup of everything we know so far, and what we should be doing to protect ourselves.

We compiled the best articles from this past week to address all your concerns:

1. Coronavirus 101 – what you need to know

As the coronavirus spreads, this article explains your chances of becoming infected. 

2. Coronavirus: What you need to know about symptoms and risks

From identifying symptoms to knowing where cases have been reported and how deadly the virus is, this article helps to make sense of it all.

3. Thousands die from flu every year in SA – how does the common flu virus compare to the new coronavirus?

Although the new coronavirus has killed more than 3 000 people globally, the flu kills between 6 000 and 11 000 South Africans every year, according to the National Department of Health.

Professor and Head of the Division of Medical Virology at the University of Stellenbosch, Wolfgang Preiser, and Professor Keertan Dheda, Head of Division of Pulmonology at the University of Cape Town, explain the new coronavirus in more detail.

4. What is the difference between Covid-19 and coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases, while Covid-19 is the disease caused by the "novel coronavirus" which originated in Wuhan, China.

The virus was named "severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2" – or SARS-CoV-2. The article discusses why we're not calling the virus by that name.

5. Your 10 most searched coronavirus questions answered

Google has done a roundup of the most frequently searched coronavirus questions in South Africa. We answered them in one nifty article.

6. Can you spread coronavirus even after you have recovered?

And can you catch the Covid-19 virus twice? This article answers some of the more tricky questions.

7. Common sense on protecting yourself from coronavirus

Not everyone has the immunity to fight off the new coronavirus, but there are basic protective measures we can take. Find out how to protect yourself here.

8. A dog tested positive for coronavirus – but it's not a threat to your pets, and it can't be passed on to you

No need to panic about your furry friend infecting you, but if they do get sick, this article tells you exactly what to do.

READ MORE | The new coronavirus has already mutated - but this new strain seems less aggressive