Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID-19 coronavirus

The following are answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding coronavirus (COVID-19):

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness in numerous animals, most commonly in mammals and birds. The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease is only one example of coronaviruses.

Other coronaviruses, known to infect humans, include the common cold, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Why is this one called the novel coronavirus?

A novel virus is one that scientists have never encountered or identified before. “Novel coronavirus” simply means that this coronavirus is a completely new strain and has not been officially named by health authorities.

Is its official name COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2?

COVID-19 is the official name of the disease the coronavirus causes. Whereas SARS-CoV-2 (or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) is the name of the coronavirus itself.

A similar example would be AIDS (the disease) and HIV (the virus that causes it).

COVID-19 Is a combination of CO VI D and 19 which stands for Corona Virus Disease 2019.

Where did this coronavirus come from?

Evidence suggested that the COVID-19 coronavirus originated in wild animals butchered and sold in Chinese wet markets for consumption.

Health reports suggest that the coronavirus was likely transmitted from bats to people who consumed them in China.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus infection?

The symptoms of COVID-19 infection range from mild respiratory symptoms, like coughing, to more severe complications such as pneumonia and kidney failure. Here is a full list of the symptoms.

How does the coronavirus spread?

The coronavirus spreads from infected individuals to other people through droplets expelled from the mouth or nose through exhaling/coughing/sneezing.

When healthy people come in contact with these droplets then touch their eyes, nose, or mouth, the virus enters and infects their body.

How to protect against the coronavirus

Prevention against the COVID-19 coronavirus is achieved through a series of measures and routines that include frequent handwashing, social distancing, and other precautionary steps. Here is a full guide on coronavirus prevention.

Can my pet transmit the coronavirus?

While there is one case of a dog getting the infection in Hong Kong, no evidence suggests that pets can transmit the disease.

Can children contract the virus?

Yes, people under 18 can and do get infected with the COVID-19.

How long is the incubation period?

The incubation period of the coronavirus is between 1 and 14 days. The most commonly reported period is around 5 days. Some reports suggest it could go up to 24 days.

How dangerous is the disease?

According to the World Health Organization, 1 in every 5 COVID-19 cases are severe and require hospitalization.

In general, older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions are more prone to be hospitalized after catching the coronavirus.

Is this the same virus as the SARS virus of 2003?

Although both are coronaviruses and are genetically related, they are different diseases. SARS is more deadly but less infectious than COVID-19.

Should I wear a mask?

Wearing a mask is recommended in two cases only:

  1. If you’re ill with COVID-19 symptoms.
  2. If you’re looking after someone who has the virus.

Otherwise, you would be wasting the mask, according to the World Health Organization. The most effective way to prevent against the coronavirus is to follow the prevention guidelines.

How long does the coronavirus survive on surfaces?

The coronavirus can survive from a few hours to several days on surfaces, depending on several factors and variables such as temperature and humidity.

Is it safe to receive packages from infected countries?

It is safe to receive packages from countries witnessing an outbreak of the coronavirus because the likelihood of contracting the virus from a package that has been moved and exposed to different conditions and temperatures is low.

Do antibiotics work against COVID-19?

No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, they’re only effective against bacterial infections.

Furthermore, the World Health Organization does not recommend self-medication with any medicines – antibiotics included – as a prevention or cure for the coronavirus.

Are there any treatments that work against it?

Although some home remedies and certain kinds of therapies alleviate the symptoms of COVID-19, they do not cure the disease.

Is there a cure or vaccine for the coronavirus?

To date, no vaccines or antiviral medicine to prevent or cure COVID-19 have been developed. The World Health Organization is coordinating efforts to prevent and cure the coronavirus.

How long will it take to create a vaccine?

While no one knows for certain when scientists will create a vaccine for COVID-19, the World Health Organization has said that the first vaccine should be available, approximately, by August 2021.

Do I need to stock up of food and supplies?

Although it doesn’t hurt, there is no need to panic and stock up. There’s no link between the spread of Coronavirus and a shortage in hygenic supplies/food.

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