What nurses need to know about novel coronavirus

Tags: healthcare, Nursing, blog

The outbreak of the novel  coronavirus (COVID-19) has dominated headlines across the globe since it was first reported in December 2019. Since then, nurses and other healthcare professionals have been at high risk of infection.

The viral respiratory disease has infected more than 490,000 people worldwide and killed more than 22,000 people. In response to these figures, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the outbreak a “global public health emergency”.

To prevent yourself and others from contracting novel coronavirus we outline the key information you must know as nurse.

What should nurses know about coronavirus?

As a nurse, you will already be aware that coronavirus is a large family of viruses that can be transmitted between animals and people and, as group, they are common across the world. They can cause illnesses as minor as the common cold to more serious illnesses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

It is the new strain of coronavirus, novel coronavirus, (COVID-19) that has become a cause for concern, as not only can it cause severe illness, it can also be fatal.

Originating from a live animal and seafood market in Wuhan City, China in December 2019, the new strain of coronavirus has quickly spread to other parts of the world.

How does the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spread?  

Much like other respiratory infections, the novel coronavirus can be transmitted via respiratory droplets (such as mucus and saliva) when an infected person coughs or sneezes within around six feet of another individual. These droplets can then infect the individual if they touch their nose or mouth. It can also be passed through inhalation.

What are the common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)?

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

As a nurse how can you protect yourself and others from getting ill?

In light of the outbreak, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has released guidance for nurses and the general public to help minimise the risk of novel coronavirus spreading. Check out the infographic below.


For more in-depth advice on how to stop the spread of coronavirus, check out these hand washing tips from the World Health Organisation. 

6 tips on surviving as a night shift nurse

Looking for more advice on the novel coronavirus?

The World Health Organisation has released a new ‘interactive web-based platform’, OpenWHO, to equip healthcare professionals with the knowledge they need to respond effectively and quickly to healthcare emergencies. They have free training and online courses available for nurses and other healthcare professionals to use to find out more about the novel coronavirus.

Here at Search Healthcare, we have a range of great nursing jobs to offer working with the largest healthcare providers. So, if you’re passionate about making a difference to the lives of others then we would love to hear from you. Check out the exceptional nursing jobs we have available or get in touch with our specialist nursing recruitment team via our contact form to discuss the career opportunities available for you.