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  • COVID-19 is a disease caused by a coronavirus.
  • It causes fever, sore throat or cough.
  • COVID-19 can also make it difficult to breathe and cause a change in your sense of taste or smell.

Coronavirus spreads easily

  • COVID-19 spreads mainly when we breathe in small droplets produced when someone with COVID-19 breathes, coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or shouts.
  • Coronavirus spreads in waves that last for several weeks or months. During a wave, more people have the virus and are getting sick. It is more likely that you will catch coronavirus during this time.
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What happens when you get infected by coronavirus?

  • Your body has an immune system or army whose job it is to fight infections.
  • When you breathe in coronavirus, your immune system fights the coronavirus and tries to kill it.
  • Often the immune system kills the coronavirus, but sometimes the coronavirus overwhelms the immune system, making you sick.

What is a COVID-19 variant?

  • As viruses spread across communities, they often change to become more effective at spreading from one person to another, or at making people severely ill.
  • Around the world, there are new versions or ‘variants’ of coronavirus.
  • In South Africa we have a COVID-19 variant called 501Y.V2. It is also called B.1.351.
  • This variant has spread very rapidly, and has made many people sick, even some who have had COVID-19 before.
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To prevent further spread of COVID-19 we need to get vaccinated while we continue to stick to COVID prevention measures: avoiding close contact with others and wearing a mask in public.