Coronavirus (CoV) are a large family of (normally zoonotic/animal-based) viruses that have transmitted to humans, causing symptoms ranging from common cold symptoms to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
The Novel Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has similar characteristics to these illnesses, but less information is known about it because it was only discovered in December 2019. The mortality rate is currently averaging 2% and complication (morbidity) rate is currently estimated to be 20%.
WHO is working closely with global experts, governments, and partners to rapidly expand scientific knowledge on this new virus, to track the spread and virulence of the virus, and to provide advice to countries and individuals on measures to protect health and prevent the spread of this outbreak.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing a Situations Summary with updated information and guidance as it becomes available.
Possible Causes of Contagion
The coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person to person. This can happen between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes may land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, or possibly be inhaled into their lungs.
Coronavirus can also spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects. For example, a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
COVID-19 symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath.
In rare cases, COVID-19 can lead to severe respiratory problems, kidney failure or death.
Symptoms typically occur within 14 days of exposure, although longer incubation periods have been noted.
According to the current protocols of the Ministry of Health:
- If someone has traveled from an “at-risk” country – no special precautions are in place. People who exhibit signs of illness within 14 days of being in that country must follow protocols for reporting, testing, isolation according to the Ministry of Health. For symptoms reporting and management:
- Contact EMA Care telemedicine services to screen for symptoms (English) / or contact the Ministry of Health hotline *5400 (Hebrew only) – or – call the Magen David Adom emergency line 101 (Hebrew only)
- EMA Care will contact the Ministry of Health to ascertain where you should go to get screening and examination
- If deemed a probable case, you will be tested at a specific facility and may be required to remain in quarantine for 14 days or until testing comes back negative.
- Follow the precautions protocol
- Do not go to Terem! Do not go to the Emergency Room!
- For people directly exposed to confirmed cases of COVID-19 or who test positive for COVID-19, full quarantine and precautions are to be maintained
- Once in quarantine, it is a criminal act to violate quarantine until the end of the prescribed time according to the Health Ministry's Guidelines.