On Corona Virus, there is lot of information circulating in social media which is creating lot of confusion and fear among citizens of India. Therefore, Fab Gyan has compiled FAQ covering common Queries on Corona Virus from Authorized Sources Only:
Are there differences between symptoms caused by the flu and COVID-19?
Cough and cold could mean an allergy. A fever with cough and cold is a symptom of the flu. When you have fever with cough which is complicated by breathlessness, it is a symptom of Coronavirus infection and you must call your doctor to rule it out.
Whether All Persons Infected with Virus will develop Symptoms?
No, 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 Corona Virus spread?
The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person 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 (therefore it is suggested to wash hands regularly).
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 to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air. (this mainly transmit through surface).
How Long Virus survives on Surface?
It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other corona-viruses. Studies suggest that corona-viruses (including preliminary information on the 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).
Is it true that hot weather conditions can prevent COVID-19 transmission? Can sunlight kill the virus?
It can probably inhibit the growth, viability or stability of the virus but to what extent we do not know. If the virus is already in my body and I sneeze, you will get it. There is no question of heat in such situations. We know that it survives in the human body at 37 degree Celsius. So, heat is no deterrent for its transmission. The only probability is that it may not survive in the outside environment. So, to say that the hot Indian summer will inhibit it.. no, it will transmit as effectively. But the virus may not survive outside for long. That is the only advantage.
Can CoVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?
The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. 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 and prevent the spread of diseases?
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. (as virus can enter your body through Eyes, Nose and Mouth).
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. (To disinfect: Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.)
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.
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.
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance.
Avoid Contacts with people like kissing, hugging, Hand Shakes et.
Avoid Mass gatherings.
Will wearing masks prevent the spreading of Corona virus? What kind of masks should we wear?
For common people, it is not necessary to wear masks. Only people infected with COVID-19 and healthcare professionals, who are in contact with such infected patients, need to use N95 masks. The rest need not wear. If you are travelling to places where the probability of catching the infection is high, say hospitals, you need to wear masks. If you are using public transport system, where you cannot know if somebody will sneeze or cough, you can use a mask. But the main prevention mechanism is to frequently wash your hands and refrain from shaking other people’s hands or hugging them. Follow cough etiquette when you are travelling or outside.
How to put on, use, take off and dispose of a mask?
Keeping in mind that this virus transmits through surface, following points must be kept in mind while wearing mask:
Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
Is there a link between a person’s immunity and COVID-19 transmission? Is this curable?
Corona-virus is one of the weakest family of viruses. The deaths caused so far or people affected could have been ones with less immunity like children or the elderly. It does not affect everybody. Yes, 100% immune-compromised people like those with HIV, people with cancer, those who have undergone transplant surgeries or people with diabetes are at risk. Children and elderly are at risk as well. If you take the history of all who died in China or Iran, 90% of them would have been suffering from an illness that compromises their immunity.
Further, the average age of virus death is 59. The mortality rate for people aged 60 and above after contracting a viral infection is 3.4%; above 70 years is 8% and 80 and above is 15%. Generally, if the immunity is good, you can tolerate any viral infection but there is no specific evidence as it pertains to COVID-19.
Are there any home remedies to treat COVID-19?
Home remedies and treatment other than allopathy is not proven science. The best thing is precaution only. You must keep away from a patient who coughs and sneezes. If you are coughing, you need to cover your face with a mask and not spread the droplets around. COVID-19 spreads through droplets.
What steps can be taken at home to enhance immunity to fight virus?
Intake of Vitamin C and Vitamin D
Yoga (especially breathing exercise)
Plenty of Water
Are Anti Biotics Effective in Preventing or Treating the Corona Virus?
No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, they only work on bacterial infections
Can I Catch Corona Virus from my Pet?
No. There is no evidence that companion animals or pets such as cats and dogs have been infected or could spread the virus that causes COVID-19.
How soon can a vaccine be developed for COVID-19?
Novel viruses happen due to reassortment. They remain for a short period and mutate depending on various factors like geography etc. A vaccine for COVID-19 is likely to be developed in another three to six months because the trials are on at the moment. Like H1N1, a vaccine can be developed for COVID-19 too.
In the case of a hit-and-run virus like SARS, no vaccine was developed because after six months it did not come back. If COVID-19 too disappears, then there wouldn’t be a need for one.
The Hindu (Dated 12 March, 2020)
Note: Fab Gyan has taken due care while compiling the information, even then Fab Gyan is not responsible for any of information stated above. It is always advisable to take help of medical adviser in case of medical help is required.