The whole world is now struggling to contain the novel coronavirus. According to the WHO, the coronavirus has sickened more than 150,000 people and has caused more than 5,000 deaths across the world since an outbreak in late 2019. What are the symptoms of the coronavirus? How does it spread? How to protect yourself from it? Who is most at risk? Read on to find all the answers that we’ve collected from the WHO and the CDC.
1. What Are The Symptoms Of Coronavirus?
According to the WHO, the most common symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19) include fever, tiredness, and a dry cough. They also remind us that some patients may have diarrhea, aches and pains, sore throat, or difficulty breathing and that some may even become infected without showing any symptoms or feeling unwell. Meanwhile, the CDC says the symptoms can appear 2-14 days after exposure.
2. How Does Coronavirus Spread?
According to the CDC, the coronavirus spreads mainly from person to person, from an infected person to others who are in close contact with the person within about 6 feet through respiratory droplets produced when the person coughs or sneezes. Since the coronavirus is new, the CDC is still learning how it spreads.
3. How Deadly Is Coronavirus?
"Globally, about 3.4% of reported coronavirus disease cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected," WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the media briefing on coronavirus in early March.
4. Who Is Most At Risk For Serious Illness From Coronavirus?
According to the CDC, people of all ages can be infected with the coronavirus, but older adults and those with underlying chronic medical problems like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk of developing severe infection.
5. How To Protect Yourself From Coronavirus?
The CDC recommends taking the following actions to protect yourself:
Clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol instead;
Don't touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands;
Avoid close contact with people who have the virus.
6. What To Do If You Think You May Contract Coronavirus?
If you suspect you're infected with COVID-19, follow the steps below recommended by the CDC to prevent the disease from spreading to others:
If you're mildly ill, stay home except to get medical care. Avoid public areas and public transportation;
Stay in a specific room and away from your family members and pets. Use a separate bathroom if possible;
Wear a face mask when you are around other people;
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and throw it in a lined trash can;
Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap or hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol;
Don't share your personal household items and keep them clean;
Seek medical care if your symptoms get worse;
Call ahead before visiting your doctor and tell him/her you may have COVID-19.
7. When To Wear A Face Mask Amid Coronavirus Outbreak?
Both the CDC and the WHO suggest people only wear a mask if they are sick with coronavirus symptoms, especially coughing, or taking care of someone who (may) have COVID-19. Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap.
8. How Long Does Coronavirus Survive On Surfaces?
WHO claims that the coronavirus may stay on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days, depending on the specific condition, e.g., the type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment. Meanwhile, according to the CDC, it's possible that you become infected if you touch your mouth, nose, or eyes after touching a surface or an object that has the virus on it, but this is not the main way the coronavirus spreads.
9. Can I Contract Coronavirus From My Pet?
According to the WHO, so far, there is no evidence that pets like dogs and cats can spread the novel coronavirus, and it is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. However, animals can spread other diseases to people, so it's always a good idea to wash your hands thoroughly after touching them.
10. Is There A Vaccine Or Drug For Coronavirus?
Not yet, but people infected with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to relieve symptoms, and most patients recover thanks to timely care, according to the WHO.