Are there questions in your mind regarding the Coronavirus? With each passing day, the spread of the Coronavirus is increasing causing confusion and misinformation. But if we have knowledge about the infection there are possibilities that we will take the right actions and try to prevent it. We have done a lot of research and found a lot of questions that people have regarding the Covid-19 or the Wuhan virus. We have jotted down all the questions and have tried to answer with the help of written material issued by worldwide agencies like the WHO, CDC and Coronavirus Resource Center.
Q & A on the novel coronavirus:
What is a coronavirus?
Originally found in animals, Coronavirus is a family of viruses that causes various diseases. Seven of the known Coronaviruses made the jump to humans including newly classified Wuhan or Covid-19.
Where did the Coronavirus come from?
This Coronavirus is suspected to have made the jump from animals to humans in the wet market of Wuhan in China. It is a live animal market where both dead and live animals are sold. They are also slaughtered then and there causing a huge risk of an outbreak.
Did the Wuhan virus originate from bats?
According to many scientists, Bats are the source of the virus and they must have infected various other animals during the confinement in Wuhan’s animal market.
What are the symptoms of the Covid-19 virus?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the main symptoms of the coronavirus usually include:
- A prolonged spell of dry cough
- A raised body temperature
- Tiredness, fatigue, and nausea
- Shortness of breath (in more severe cases)
- Aches and pains
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Even diarrhea
WHO added that some people can get infected and will never show any signs and won’t even fall unwell. But they can spread the infection.
Who are “Super Spreaders’?
Although not recognized by any authority or the WHO, these are people with high immunity. In the case of Covid-2019, a person with robust immunity may not show any symptom of infection but can be a carrier and spread infection really fast. If in case you show some sign or feel that you can be indeed a carrier, it is a good idea to consult a health professional or isolate yourself until proven otherwise.
How does the Wuhan virus spread?
People can catch COVID-19 from other people who are already infected with the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth that spread when a person infected with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or exhales. These droplets often land on nearby objects and surfaces. Many people then get infected with COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces and then rubbing their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in the droplets of a COVID-19 person who coughs out or exhales droplets. That’s why it’s important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a sick person.
What is the incubation period?
The time between exposure to a germ and the symptoms of illness is an incubation period. Current estimates suggest that COVID-19 symptoms usually start to surface in around five days, but the incubation duration can range from two days to 14 days.
How many people have been infected?
As per the data provided by WHO, there more than 80,000+ confirmed cases.
Who is at risk of becoming infected?
The recent data from China suggests that people of all ages are at risk of contracting the virus, but old people are more likely to develop serious illness.
People with a reduced chance of survival include:
- Those over age 65
- Children under the age of two
- People with underlying health conditions or a weakened immune system
If I cross paths with a sick person, will I get sick, too?
No, the chances of you contracting the virus are minimal. There has to be contacted with the viral droplet for exposure to the infection.
What’s a viral droplet?
A viral droplet is droplets suspended in the air when a person coughs, sneezes and exhales that contain a virus. It is suggested by experts that the COVID-19 has been spreading because of these viral droplets.
How close is too close?
It is suggested by WHO that a distance of about 3 feet or 1 meter should be kept with a sick person to prevent yourself from getting infected.
How long is too long to be near an infected person?
There is no concrete research on this so far, but it is advised that as soon as you know and feel that you are around a sick person, it is a good idea to keep a safe distance.
Can the virus last on a bus pole, touch screen or other surfaces?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes. This particular virus can live up to 14 days on a hard surface like bus poles, smartphone screens, doorknobs, etc.
Does the brand or type of soap you use matter?
No, as long as you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds it does not make any difference.
Can I get it from making out with someone?
It is certainly not proven yet but any bodily exchange of fluids from an infected person can be catastrophic for you.
Is it safe to eat where people are sick with coronavirus?
As the food is not the medium by which the virus spreads, thus it should be all right, but you will be exposed to other ways of getting the infection.
What type of mask should I use to protect myself from the virus?
Contrary to popular belief, masks do not prevent the spread of infection and it is more dangerous. If you sneeze or cough the virus sticks to the inner part of the mask and contaminates the whole mask again and again. It is better to use tissue paper. When you sneeze or cough use the tissue paper and dispose of it properly in the trash.
Does it help to wash my hands?
Definably, as you constantly touch surfaces like doorknobs, smartphones, and travel in public transport it is advised to wash your hands at regular intervals.
Can the Wuhan virus be killed by alcohol?
No, the consumption of alcohol does not affect the virus or its spread. But an alcohol-based hand cleaner will help you a lot. You should also use an alcohol-based wipe to clean often used surfaces like your smartphone screen, desktop mouse, keyboard and laptop trackpad.
Is there a cure for the Wuhan virus?
No, there is no cure for the Wuhan virus. No therapy, no home remedy neither any Ayurvedic medicine seems to work on this virus.
Is there a vaccine for the virus?
No, there is no vaccine against the virus, but various countries are trying to create a vaccine to counter this virus.
What do I do if I have a cough and runny nose and have recently traveled overseas?
Getting tested for the Coronavirus seems to be the best option. There is no point in waiting until the situation goes out of hand.
I suspect I was at the same place as a confirmed Wuhan virus patient. What should I do?
You should go for immediate screening and follow further instructions by your medical practitioner.
Am I at risk of catching the virus from packages shipped from China?
Most probably not as this virus is a bit different. It spreads by the human to human contact.
Can animals get infected?
There have been a few cases where animals are known to have contracted this virus but it is not proven yet how they got infected. Was it from humans or animal to animal contact?
Is the Wuhan virus similar to SARS or MERS?
It has similarities with SARS but not MERS. The source of SARS was bats and in the case of MERS, it was first found in camels. The Wuhan or COVID-19 is also said to have been originated from bats to another animal like the Pangolin and then it jumped to humans.
Will China begin to regulate its meat markets to prevent the consumption of wild animals?
It is a good question. We say, do they have any choice? The international community is putting a lot of pressure on the Chinese authority to ban wet markets where animals are slaughtered. During the SARS outbreak, these markets were banned but because of the demand from the Chinese elite population, the Chinese authority lifted the bans once again after the outbreak was controlled.
Will the change in temperature impact the virus spread?
Up till now, there is no research on this but the answer is a plain no. The spread of the virus does not get affected by the change in temperature.
How can I be safe?
The best way is to follow simple hygiene. Wash your hands regularly, clean surfaces often that you touch often and more importantly try to boost your immunity. It is also a great idea to de-stress yourself and indulge in activities that keep you occupied. If you can refrain from traveling and keep away from crowded places, you should be fine.
Which all surfaces should be avoided from being touched?
Though it is not practical not to touch a few things it is a good idea to wash your hands as soon as you touch these surfaces or at least do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth until you wash your hands:
- Bus poles
- Metro poles and support bars
- Smartphone screens
- Door and cab handles
- Metal surfaces like taps
- Mouth freshener bowls at restaurants
- Lift buttons