Coronavirus: What symptoms should I look out for?

South Africa confirmed its first case of the deadly virus. What should you do to avoid contracting it?

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Thursday confirmed the first positive case of the coronavirus in South Africa.

In a statement, he said that the patient was a 38-year-old male from KwaZulu-Natal who travelled to Italy with his wife. The couple were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in South Africa on 1 March.

The patient went to a doctor on 3 March with symptoms of fever, headaches, malaise, a sore throat and a cough.

Mkhize said that the patient had been in self-isolation since then.

The virus was identified in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December and is causing an outbreak of disease throughout the world. It is spread through the air, close personal contact or through touching contaminated objects.

Common signs of infection:

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath

  • Breathing difficulties

  • Gastrointestinal symptoms

  • Diarrhoea

Severe cases:

  • Pneumonia

  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome

  • Kidney failure

  • Death


  • no vaccines or antiviral drugs available

  • symptoms can be treated