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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses known to cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). This new coronavirus originated in Hubei Province, China and the disease is named COVID-19.
COVID-19 can and has spread quickly and widely. It has contributed to the deaths of over 6.5 million people worldwide and over 14,600 deaths in Australia as at 16 September 2022 (according to the World Health Organisation).
Practicing good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene, staying home when you are sick and getting vaccinated are the best defences. You should:
Vaccinations have contributed to slowing down the spread of disease. Over 95% of Australians aged 16 years and over have received at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
If you have any infectious or respiratory symptoms (such as sore throat, headache, fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches, cough or runny nose), stay home.
Take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) as soon as you can. Ask someone to deliver one to you if possible, or if you need to go out to buy one, wear a mask and physically distance whenever you can.
If you test positive for COVID-19, isolate and report your positive RAT result to Queensland Health.
Queensland's Chief Health Officer will determine who needs to self-isolate or quarantine, under what conditions and for how long. Visit the Queensland Government COVID-19 website for up-to-date information.
If you're unsure whether you need medical care for your symptoms or if you feel you might require medical assessment or treatment, you can:
You may benefit from antiviral medicines if you are at high risk of developing severe illness. Find out who may be eligible and what to do to prepare.
You should seek medical advice if you:
Keep a COVID-19 symptom diary , so you can track if your symptoms get worse.
Only call Triple Zero (000) or go to an emergency department if you have severe symptoms. Read more about symptoms and medical care for COVID-19 in Queensland.
There are certain situations and settings where you must wear a face mask, to help keep other Queenslanders safe. Check when you need to wear a mask. You might also choose to wear a mask where you are not able to physically distance from others.
You can also contact the dedicated Queensland Health COVID-19 hotline on 13 42 68 (13 COVID).
If you have concerns about your health, speak to your doctor.