Here are some frequently ask questions
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
In case you get fever, cough, muscle pain without shortness of breath, call your doctor and seek advice on phone. You need to stay at home (at least for 14 days) and avoid close contact with other family members and maintain hand hygiene and correctly wear a medical mask. If there is shortness of breath or worsening symptoms like excessive fatigue call or visit a doctor.But, at the end of the end it's all about prevention rather than cure. That leads to the final question.
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority.
Wearing masks does more to protect others against the disease if you have it, rather than protect you from the disease if you come into contact with others who have it. More than that, high demand for masks from individuals deprives those who might need them more, such as healthcare workers. So, if you suspect you have a respiratory ailment, do wear a mask. If you feel OK, don’t.
Initial reports indicate that the COVID-19 virus can live for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces. It is important to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces each day.
No, not at all. First of all, this is a virus that is being transmitted between humans through a respiratory route; just any animal you might encounter won’t harbour it. So eating meat has nothing to do with getting a coronavirus infection. Also, viruses such as this one don’t last long on exposed surfaces and don’t tolerate high temperatures very well. The delays in a package reaching from China to India will ensure that no virus will survive the journey to infect you. It is thus safe to use products from China without fear of infection.
No, not yet, although many laboratories around the world are working on this. There are a number of vaccine candidates that are being developed and a number of existing medicines for other diseases are being tested on COVID-19 patients to see if they will work. Making a safe vaccine available takes time, up to a year or two at best.
No, people with hypertension, diabetes or heart diseases are at no greater risk of getting the infection than anyone else.
The majority, which is 80 per cent of people diagnosed with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms of a respiratory infection (fever, sore throat, cough) and make a full recovery. Some of the people with diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases including Heart Failure may develop more severe symptoms and complications. Therefore, they require extra care.
In general, you know that people with uncontrolled diabetes are at increased risk of all infections. People with diabetes are not at higher risk for acquiring the infection, but some individuals are prone to more severe disease and poorer outcomes once infected.Hence, follow your diet and exercise routine (to the extent possible), take your medications regularly and test your sugar levels frequently so as to keep your diabetes under control. When diabetic patients become sick, they may require frequent monitoring of blood glucose and adjustment of drugs including insulin, small frequent meals and adequate fluids.
No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19. They should only be used as directed by a physician to treat a bacterial infection.
"Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in animals. Occasionally, people get infected with these viruses which may then spread to other people. For example, SARS-CoV was associated with civet cats and MERS-CoV is transmitted by dromedary camels. Possible animal sources of COVID-19 have not yet been confirmed. To protect yourself, such as when visiting live animal markets, avoid direct contact with animals and surfaces in contact with animals. Ensure good food safety practices at all times. Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care to avoid contamination of uncooked foods and avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products."
"While there has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong, to date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19. COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently and thoroughly. WHO continues to monitor the latest research on this and other COVID-19 topics and will update as new findings are available."
Currently there is no FDA-approved or cleared test to diagnose or detect COVID-19 because the virus that causes COVID-19 is new. Therefore, the FDA has issued several Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for the use of new diagnostic test to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. During public health emergencies declared under section 564 of the FD&C Act, the FDA is able to issue EUAs when certain criteria are met that allows for the use and distribution of potentially life-saving medical products to diagnose, treat, or prevent the disease, which can include diagnostic tests.
At this time, the FDA has not authorized any test that is available to purchase for testing yourself at home for COVID-19. The FDA sees the public health value in expanding the availability of COVID-19 testing through safe and accurate tests that may include home collection, and we are actively working with test developers on this goal. You can find listings of tests that have received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) as well as labs and manufacturers that have notified FDA as set forth in the FDA's Policy for Diagnostic Tests for Coronavirus Disease-2019.
The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in most municipal drinking water systems, should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.
The immune response to COVID-19 is not yet understood. Patients with MERS-CoV infection are unlikely to be re-infected shortly after they recover, but it is not yet known whether similar immune protection will be observed for patients with COVID-19.
We do not currently know if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public nor whether they are more likely to have serious illness as a result. Pregnant women experience changes in their bodies that may increase their risk of some infections. With viruses from the same family as COVID-19, and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, women have had a higher risk of developing severe illness. It is always important for pregnant women to protect themselves from illnesses.
COVID-19 is a new virus in humans, so it is too early to predict whether it will become seasonal. If it behaves like other respiratory viruses, including flu, it could abate as the weather gets warmer and become part of the usual cold and flu season. But scientists do not yet have enough information to know for certain. That’s why ongoing research to develop vaccines and antiviral drugs that are effective against coronaviruses is so important.