What you need to know about COVID-19

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by SARS-CoV-2, a new virus from the corona family. Common symptoms include fever, dry cough and, in severe cases, shortness of breath. COVID-19 spreads from person to person, but can survive on hard surfaces for up to 3 days. Hand-washing, social distancing and cleaning frequently touched surfaces can prevent the spread of the virus.

Facts about COVID-19

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a novel infectious disease based on the SARS-CoV-2 virus that originated from Wuhan, China in late 2019. WHO classified COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

Often mistakenly likened to the flu, COVID-19 is much more severe. As many potentially dangerous diseases, COVID-19 starts with flu like symptoms. Fever, dry cough, sore throat and eventually shortness of breath are most common ones, with fever often being the determining factor when self diagnosing.

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If your body temperature is 37.5°C or 99.5°F you have a mild fever, which is the most common symptom of COVID-19, though it does not necessarily mean you've contracted the disease. If you have traveled to Wuhan or Italy in the last 14 days, you should call your doctor. It's important to call your doctor instead of going to the hospital, to prevent spreading the virus if you're infected or catching it you're not.

Data source

Preventive measures like social distancing and good hygiene put in place to slow down the spread of the virus have been shown to work in China, while combating the first wave of the outbreak. We will see fewer global infections once similar measures are implemented in other high-risk countries.

What can you do to stop COVID-19 from spreading?


✓ Wash your hands. Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds protects you from getting sick.

✓ Stay home. Social distancing slows the spread of the virus from person to person.

✓ Take this seriously. This is not the flu. This is a global pandemic that's pushing healthcare to its limits.

✓ Wear a mask if you're sick. Wearing a mask does little to prevent you from getting sick, but it does prevent you from infecting others.


☓ Panic buy. When shopping think about the next person. Don't buy more than you need.

☓ Touch your face. Touching your mouth, nose or eyes is how the virus gets in your system.

☓ Spread misinformation. Before sharing information on social media, do a quick fact check.

Why is COVID-19 dangerous?

COVID-19 challenges the medical system

We are not prepared for a global pandemic with an infection rate as high as COVID-19. Without preventive measures, hospitals don't have equipment and staff to treat all the critial cases. By social distancing and good hygiene, we can spread out the critical case so that they can get proper treatment.

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COVID-19 is life threatening to the most vulnerable

COVID-19's mortality rate is around 1% for the average person, but there's groups of population where it goes up to 10%. The elderly, immunosuppressed or people with chronic conditions suffer from more severe cases and more likely to not recover. It's our responsibility as society to protect everyone.

There's so much we still don't know

It been less than 5 months since the first COVID-19 infection and much as we study each case, make predictions and comparisons to similar outbreaks in history, we still know very little about the virus. Every step we take should be educated, mindful and cautious.

More COVID-19 stats.


COVID-19 infection rate

COVID-19 is almost 2x as infectious as the flu. The average person with the flu infects 1.3 people. The average person with COVID-19 can infect 2.2 people. Learn more >

Social distancing, washing your hands and wearing a mask when you're sick significantly lowers the number of people you infect

81% cases of COVID-19 cases are mild

It is likely that many more cases are so mild that they are not identified as COVID-19.

Estimates published by Read et al. (2020) suggest that only around 5% of cases in China have been diagnosed and recorded.
Learn more >

Underlying condition fatality rates

  • Cardiovascular disease 10.5%
  • Diabetes 7.3%
  • Chronic respiratory disease 6.3%
  • Hypertension 6%
  • Cancer 5.6%
  • No underlying condition 0.9%

Wash your hands

Handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the best measure to protect yourslef from the virus. Get more info.

Sing happy birthday twice while washing your hands

Don't touch your face
Don't touch your face

Touching your mouth, eyes or nose with unwashed hands can transmit the virus from surfaces you have touched. Get more info.

The virus can surive for up to 3 days on surfaces you touch

Social distancing
Stay home

Social distancing protects you and your community, especially the elderly, the immunosuppressed and those with chronic conditions.Get more info.

Social distancing helps flatten the curve

Live Stats

Global Spread Of The Pandemic

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