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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

4-minute read

IMPORTANT: If you have severe difficulty breathing, call triple zero (000) immediately and tell the call handler and the paramedics on arrival about your recent travel history and any close contact with a person with confirmed or probable COVID-19.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Click on the links below for answers to questions about the coronavirus and COVID-19.

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a recently identified strain of coronavirus in humans. The virus first appeared in Wuhan city in Hubei Province, China at the end of 2019 and used to be known as the 'novel coronavirus (2019-nCov)'. COVID-19 has since spread to most countries, including Australia.

Visit the Department of Health's website for the latest alerts on COVID-19 in Australia, or the World Health Organization's website for global updates.

Resources in other languages

COVID-19 resources in other languages are available from the Department of Health, as well as from the ACT, NSW, Qld, SA, Tas, Vic and WA health departments.

Information is also available in Aboriginal languages (NT).

National Coronavirus Helpline

For information on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), call the Australian Government's National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.

Related information

COVID-19 in pictures

COVID-19 in pictures

Use these visual guides for advice on how to avoid coronavirus infection and self-isolation tips.

COVID-19 and your health

Other ways COVID-19 affects health

The response to the pandemic is affecting Australians' health in surprising ways. Here's what you should know.

Hand washing

Hand washing

Frequent hand-washing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading illness. Here's how to do it well.


About other coronaviruses

Coronaviruses form a large family of viruses that can cause a range of illnesses, including COVID-19 but also the common cold, SARS and MERS.

Contact tracing

Contact tracing

Contact tracing is a method used to slow the spread of infections by identifying people who have been in contact with an infected person.

What is a pandemic

What is a pandemic?

A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease, such as the coronavirus (COVID-19). Here's what you need to know, including how epidemics are different.

Information for health professionals

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) provides coronavirus (COVID-19) information for GPs.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: October 2020

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