83 - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

18 March 2020


Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illness in humans and animals. Human coronavirus illnesses are generally mild such as the common cold. However, some coronaviruses can cause severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which was identified in 2002, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which was identified in 2012.

COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. It is a new strain of coronaviruses that hasn’t previously been identified in humans. COVID-19 is closely related to SARS and in the same family of viruses as MERS.

The World Health Organization has announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic.

How does COVID-19 spread?

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell.

Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who contract COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.

Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

How can you help to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is by practising good hand hygiene and sneeze/cough etiquette. This includes:

For more information

The risk of transmission in Australia remains low; however, the situation is evolving. Western Australia should remain alert, but not be alarmed.

You should be aware, keep up-to-date and follow all guidelines from medical and Government authorities.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information please refer to the following websites:

Point of contact

For further information or if you are experiencing symptoms, or a member of your household is experiencing symptoms or you or they have been in contact with an infected person, you must seek medical advice and report this to EGT and your host employer immediately. Both your host employer and you have an obligation to report your condition to EGT.

Please contact the General Manager of EGT on (08) 6241 6106 or stuart.diepeveen@ecawa.org.au.