coronavirus, covid19, hse, health, virus,

The novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new disease in the human population, more information is becoming available every day as doctors and scientists study the virus and how it affects people. Below are guidelines provided by the Health Service Executive (HSE) to help you stay informed.

For up to date information about the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), please visit the HSE website here.


What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause respiratory illness. They include viruses that cause the common cold and seasonal flu, as well as more serious illnesses like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

COVID-19 is a new strain that has not previously been identified in humans and was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.


What are the symptoms?

Signs of infection include high fever (>38ºC) together with one or more respiratory symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Severe symptoms include pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and kidney failure.



How is COVID-19 (coronavirus) passed on?

Coronaviruses are most commonly passed between animals and people and from person to person. The source of COVID-19 (coronavirus) is believed to be animals, but the exact source is not yet known.

The virus is commonly passed on:

  • directly, through contact with an infected person’s body fluids (for example, droplets from coughing or sneezing)
  • indirectly, through contact with surfaces that an infected person has coughed or sneezed on

Current information suggests that the virus may survive a few hours on surfaces. Simple household disinfectants can kill it.

Investigations in China are continuing to identify the source of the outbreak and ways it can be passed on to people.



The Irish Government has issued the following health advice:

If you have been to an affected region in the last 14 days and:

Have symptoms (fever (high temperature), cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties):

  • Stay away from other people
  • Phone your GP without delay
  • If you do not have a GP, phone 112 or 999

Do not have symptoms

If you have been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days and:

Have symptoms

  • Stay away from other people
  • Phone your GP without delay
  • If you do not have a GP, phone 112 or 999

Do not have symptoms

As an added precaution, if you work with food and have suspected symptoms of respiratory illness you should also inform your employer and avoid preparing food for other people.


What can Employers do?

The Irish Government has advised employers that there is no need for employees without symptoms of infection with COVID-19 to stay off work or to remain separate from other people.

Employers should ensure that staff are aware of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation and the advice being given by the HSE.

The WHO has guidance on getting your workplace ready for COVID-19

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment have information on business continuity planning


For more, visit the HSE website here.






Did you enjoy the article?

Keep up to date with our latest blog posts