We know from the data that in most people COVID-19 is a mild illness with respiratory symptoms similar to those we see all the time (cough, sore throat, fever). However in some people the risks of pneumonia and other complications are much higher.

People over the age of 60 are at high risk, with those over 80 years of age at the highest risk.

The higher risk group also includes males and anyone with medical conditions that affect the heart, lungs or immune system (eg diabetes).


Good Hygiene measures are the key:
Regular hand washing with soap and water /alcohol hand gels
Social distancing (1.5m)
Avoid hand shaking or kissing
Masks are less important.
o Best if unwell to protect others
o Possibly in busy airports in higher risk regions
o Surgical vs N95/P2. Conflicting evidence as to how much more beneficial the latter are, but probably not easily sourced anyway.


  • How is the disease transmitted?

    The illness is passed on through droplet spread; close contact with people actively coughing or sneezing for a sustained period of time or touching surfaces with fingers and then putting fingers in your mouth.

  • What's the treatment for COVID-19?

    There is no cure for COVID-19 so recovery involves treatment of the symptoms. For those with mild disease this includes paracetamol, fluids and rest.

  • Is there a vaccine?

    Vaccines are being administered around the globe but not yet available in Australia. Having the influenza vaccine is strongly recommended for everyone in order to reduce the risk of dual infection, which is shown to increase the risk of a more severe illness with COVID-19. The 2021 influenza vaccine is likely to be ready March/April.

  • How is it tested for?

    Nose and throat swabs are carried out in Australian testing clinics to see if you currently have COVID-19. Availability of testing will vary widely across the globe.