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Coronavirus: Facts and security regulations in 16 languages

In particular, older people and people with a weakened immune system are especially at risk. Help to protect these people.  You can find out what you can do, what the right measures are and important up-to-date information on this site.

Let’s all do our best to save lives.

Frequently asked Questions. You will find the right answers here.

Can you get infected with food?

Based on previous risk assessments it is not possible to transmit the virus via food. I.e. the food in Austria is safe.

Can you get tested for the corona virus?

The doctor decides whether you actually are a suspected case and decides on a test. The test result is available within a few hours.

What happens if a corona infection is detected?

In the event of a suspected case special safety criteria are applied, which are recommended by the Ministry of Health in consultation with experts and derived from international guidelines. A sick person will be isolated, contact persons will be identified, informed and, depending on the situation, can for example be quarantined.

The aim of all measures is to ensure that as few people as possible in Austria are infected by the pathogen.

How is the disease treated?

There is no vaccine. Treatment is symptomatic, i.e. by alleviating the symptoms of the disease, for example by giving antipyretic agents.

How high is the mortality rate, especially in comparison to influenza?

At present mortality (= lethality) of around 2.3 percent is assumed.

The mortality rate from seasonal influenza varies. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) estimates that around 15,000 to 75,000 people die prematurely from influenza-related causes each year in the EU, England, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. In Austria an estimated long-term average of around 1,500 people die each year from the consequences of the flu or flu-like illnesses.

How dangerous is the coronavirus?

As of today, there is no definitive information about how dangerous the virus is. For the time being, the novel coronavirus seems to be considerably less dangerous than MERS (with a mortality rate of up to 30 percent) and SARS (approx. 10 percent mortality rate). For the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the assumed mortality rate is up to three percent. Just like for the seasonal flu caused by influenza viruses (mortality rate under 1 percent), especially elderly people and people with a weak immune system are affected.

Video "Wo dangerous is the novel coronavirus?" (AGES/Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety)

How does the illness manifest itself?

Common coronavirus infections affecting humans are mostly mild and symptom-free. Frequent indicators of an infection with the novel coronavirus are, among others, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, or even death. Mild illness courses (symptoms of a cold) as well as infections without any symptoms can occur. Some cases can progress mildly (symptoms of a cold) and some cases do not show any symptoms.

Currently, experts assume that the course of the illness for the novel coronavirus is less severe than for SARS and MERS.

Video "How does the illness manifest itself?" (AGES/Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety)

What can we do to protect high-risk groups in Austria, such as elderly people and people with a weak immune system?

Hygiene measures are to be followed, just like during the flu season. The most important and most effective measure to protect yourself and others from getting a respiratory infection are good hand hygiene, correct cough etiquette, and keeping a minimum distance (approx. 1 to 2 meters) to people who might be infected.

What is corona-related short-term working?
  • A new and easier option for short-term working
  • Available for up to six months for the time being

More answers to questions about “corona-related short-term working” is available in the latest publication of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labor, Family and Youth.

The federal government has placed restrictions on going outside for Austria

More information

There are currently only three reasons for leaving the house:

  • To go to work if necessary.

    • Wherever possible, people should work from home by telework.

    • All those who work in areas that ensure supply in our country are excluded.

  • To run urgent errands.

    • This includes urgent tasks, such as buying groceries or going to the pharmacy.

  • To help other people.

    • Due to health reasons many people in Austria are currently dependent on our help, for example they cannot buy groceries themselves.

    • Whoever leaves his house to help others, should be able to do this during the restriction period.

In special exceptional cases: whoever wants to go outside in an urgent case should only do this alone or with the people they live together in the same apartment.

As of today, public spaces will be closed and future events will be completely prohibited.

As of Tuesday, 17 March 2020, restaurants will be completely closed.

In addition the entry ban will be extended to further countries.

Federal government is setting up 4 billion euros a fund for Corona crisis management.

More information
  • Package for quick and unbureaucratic direct financial aid

    • Corona crisis management fund set up, endowed with 4 billion euros

    • To ensure liquidity, to secure jobs and help for hardship cases

  • Supply chains are strengthened so that food and medicine do not run out in Austria and Europe

  • No lessons in upper secondary school from Monday, 16 March 2020

    • Teaching should largely be switched to distance learning

    • Details of the effects on the secondary school certificate will be announced on Thursday, 19 March 2020

  • No lessons in lower secondary school and elementary school from Wednesday, 18 March 2020

    • Wherever possible private care arrangements should be made

    • Where private childcare arrangements are not possible, children can continue to be sent to school

Myths concerning the coronavirus

Warning: At the moment incorrect information about the corona virus is circulated. Please trust only official sources such as the Austrian ones, international health authorities, the Federal Chancellery or state institutions and ministries.

Below you will find some of the current rumours and false reports and in response the official and verified data from the World Health Organization (WHO):

Downloads

Informationen der Österreichischen Apothekerkammer (ÖAK)

Hygiene- und Schutzmaßnahmen: Infoblatt des Bundesministeriums für Inneres (BMI) und des Bundesministeriums für Gesundheit, Soziales, Pflege und Konsumentenschutz (BMGSPK)