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This resource will be continuously updated as evidence and guidelines emerge. Information was correct at time of publishing. Date Updated: 22/11/2022

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. There are many types of coronavirus. Some affect the throat and the lungs.

Illnesses from viruses range from the common cold and flu-like illnesses, to more severe diseases such as severe flu and pneumonia.

Pneumonia is also commonly caused by bacteria. Antibiotics only treat pneumonia caused by bacteria. Usual antibiotics do not treat coronavirus. You may have been given antibiotics if you were very unwell in case there was also a bacterial infection.

The virus causing COVID-19 is new and was first recognised in China in December 2019.

The full name of the virus is SARS-CoV-2. SARS stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. It spreads easily between humans by droplets in the air caused by coughing and sneezing.

Some people have had very severe disease. However, others may not be aware they have had it. Scientists are trying to work out why it affects people so differently.

At the time of writing, we do not know exactly what will happen to people as they recover, however, there is a lot of information to help us including the stages of COVID-19 recovery.

*WHO &

Stages of COVID-19 Recovery


0-4 weeks

Acute signs and symptoms of COVID-19


4-12 weeks

Ongoing signs and symptoms of COVID-19

Post COVID-19 Syndrome

12 weeks onwards

Signs and symptoms that develop during or after an infection consistent with COVID-19 and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis

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