What is a CoronaVirus ?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. It causes illness in animals or humans both. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections. The symptoms varry from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
What is Covid-19 ?
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
What are the symptoms of Covid-19 ?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dificulty in breathing,tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. Initially these symptoms are mild and begin gradually to sever condition. 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.
How does Covid-19 spread ?
The Virus can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person (infected with COVID-19) coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
Can the virus that causes COVID-19 be transmitted through the air?
Studies till date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air. See previous answer on “How does COVID-19 spread?”
Can CoVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?
The virus in its initial stage settles in nasal and neck region. Before affecting its host it may have chances to spread through coughing or sneezing. The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who coughs. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill.
What can I do to protect myself from Covid-19 ?
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. Authorities in China and some other countries have succeeded in slowing or stopping their outbreaks.
You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
- Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
- Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
What to do if a persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading ?
- Self-isolatation by staying at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache, low grade fever (37.3 C or above) and slight runny nose, until you recover.
Avoid contact with others and avoid visits to medical facilities.
- If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition.
How likely am I to catch Covid-19 ?
For most people in most locations the risk of catching COVID-19 is still low. . For people living in, or visiting, these areas the The risk of getting infection is higher in areas or cities where the people have travel history residents specially international trips. Local governments and health authorities are taking vigorous action every time a new case of COVID-19 is identified. Follow any local restrictions on travel, movement or large gatherings called by Government. Cooperating with disease control efforts will reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.
You can see these at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/
Who is at risk of developing serious illness ?
Older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) are at higher risk to develop serious illness more often than others.
Are antibiotics effective against Covid-19 ?
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. Use antibiotic only on prescription by a doctor only. Self medication is harmfull.
Are there any medications or therapies that can prevent or cure Covid-19 ?
Not yet, till now no specific medication is found usefull to treat COVID-19. Consult your doctor if you have a travel history or have came in contact with a person who has a travel history of last 15 days.
Should I wear a mask to protect myself ?
No. Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19. Disposable face mask can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill then you are wasting a mask. There is a world-wide shortage of masks so use mask wisely.
The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from people who are coughing or sneezing.
What’s the incubation period of Covid-19 ?
The “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days.
How to clean surfaces, contaminated from Covid-19?
COVID-19 virus may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).
If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
What’s I should do ?
Stay at home , and Follow government advisory. This is the best practice a responsible citizen can do to help to stop the spread of Coronavirus.