About the disease

COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new strain of the coronavirus. Symptoms of the disease include fever, coughing, sore throat and shortness of breath. The virus can spread from person to person, but good hygiene can prevent infection.

Key highlights of the disease

• COVID-19 or ‘coronavirus disease’ is a new disease that emerged in 2019.
• COVID-19 was first seen in China but is now spreading all over the world.
• COVID-19 causes mild to severe respiratory infection.
• The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, a dry cough and shortage of breath. Some people may have aches and pains, a runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.
• Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms (asymptomatic) and don't feel unwell.
• Most people (about 80%) recover from COVID-19 without needing special treatment.
• Around 1 in 6 people will become more seriously unwell and will develop difficulty breathing.
• Older people, and those with underlying health problems like high blood pressure, heart problems, chronic lung diseases or diabetes, are more likely to become seriously unwell with COVID-19, and are more likely to die.
• People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical help.


Who is most at risk?

COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.


Symptoms of COVID-19

What are the typical symptoms?

COVID-19 typically causes flu-like symptoms including a fever and cough.
In some patients - particularly the elderly and others with other chronic health conditions - these
symptoms can develop into pneumonia, with chest tightness, chest pain, and shortness of breath.

What you need to do

How to protect yourself?

Health measures for the well-being of the elderly population during the pandemic.


Things you should do

Be sure to follow it

  • Stay at home
  • Wash your hands and face with soap at regular intervals
  • Ensure you maintain a proper nutrition
  • Cover elbow when sneezing or coughing
  • Take your daily prescribed medicines regularly
  • Maintain Social distancing
  • Call the health authorities if you have symptoms

Things you should avoid

Be sure to avoid it

  • Avoid social gathering
  • Don’t go near affected/sick people
  • You must avoid going to hospitals for your routine check-ups
  • Avoid touching live animals
  • Never cough or sneeze into your bare hands
  • Don't Self-medicate
  • Don't touch your face & nose
  • Avoid handshaking
What if I need help or support from others?

How do i get professional assisted help?

If you need to stay at home, or you are homebound, ask friends, family or carers for support. Both you and those helping you should do what you can to protect yourselves, as outlined above, including washing your hands.
Ask friends, family or carers for help with:
1. Picking up medicines
2. Buying food
3. Tasks around the house
4. Getting information on COVID-19
5. Getting information on where and how to get medical help
6. Getting to a health facility
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Hand washing 411

Do you wash your hands properly?

Are you washing your hands properly? Most of us know how important it is to practise good hand hygiene.
But just because you're washing your hands often, doesn't mean that you're washing them well.

How does COVID-19 spread?

How is it transmitted?


Personal contact

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.


Contaminated objects

It may be possible that 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. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus.

Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Also, routinely clean frequently touched surfaces.


Droplets from infected persons

Someone with the virus coughs or sneezes and droplets lands on objects and surfaces. If other people touch those surfaces and then touch their mouth, nose or eyes, they can become infected.


Aerosols Transmission

A person infected with coronavirus — even one with no symptoms — may emit aerosols when they talk or breathe. Aerosols are infectious viral particles that can float or drift around in the air for up to three hours. Another person can breathe in these aerosols and become infected with the coronavirus. This is why everyone should cover their nose and mouth when they go out in public.

How to seek medical attention?

If you are sick or think you have symptoms of COVID-19, please seek medical advice immediately. If you want to talk to someone about your symptoms, please call the Nigerian Center for Disease and Control (NCDC) via the Helplines below for advice.

Toll Free Number: 0800 9700 0010
Whatsapp: +234 708 711 0839
SMS Number: +234 809 955 5577

Visit NCDC for more information


For questions about testing or patient welfare, call the NCDC help lines above.