COVID 19 : FAQs
CORONA VIRUS : frequently asked questions (FAQs)
WHAT IS COVID 19?
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus.
The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. You can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and avoiding close contact (1 meter or 3 feet) with people who are unwell.
What are the Signs and symptoms of COVID 19?
Those infected with the virus may be asymptomatic or develop flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Emergency symptoms include difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, confusion, difficulty waking, and bluish face or lips; immediate medical attention is advised if these symptoms are present. Less commonly, upper respiratory symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, or sore throat may be seen. Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea have been observed in varying percentages. Some cases in China initially presented only with chest tightness and palpitations.Anosmia (loss of the sense of smell) and dysgeusia (distortion of the sense of taste) are reported symptoms, particularly of cases with no other symptoms. In some, the disease may progress to pneumonia, multi-organ failure, and death.
As is common with infections, there is a delay from when a person is infected with the virus to when they develop symptoms, known as the incubation period. The incubation period for COVID-19 is typically five to six days but may range from two to 14 days.97.5% of people who develop symptoms will do so within 11.5 days of infection.
What are the Prevention of COVID 19?
Preventive measures to reduce the chances of infection include staying at home, avoiding crowded places, washing hands with soap and warm water often and for at least 20 seconds, practicing good respiratory hygiene and avoiding touching the eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. The EXPERTS recommends covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or using inside of the elbow if no tissue is available. They also recommend proper hand hygiene after any cough or sneeze. Social distancing strategies aim to reduce contact of infected persons with large groups by closing schools and workplaces, restricting travel, and canceling mass gatherings. Social distancing also includes that people stay at least 6 feet apart (about 1.80 meters).
How long does it take for symptoms of the COVID-19 to appear?
The Experts believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days, or as long as 14 days after exposure.
How is COVID-19 treated?
There is currently no FDA approved medication for COVID-19. People infected with this virus should receive supportive care such as rest, fluids and fever control, to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.
Whould I wear a face mask? Will that help protect me?
If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (like sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
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If you are not sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
What should I do?
Whilst it is understandable to feel anxious about the outbreak, WHO emphasizes the fact that, if you are not in an area where COVID-19 is spreading, or have not travelled from an area where the virus is spreading, or have not been in contact with an infected patient, your risk of infection is low.
Nevertheless, we all have a responsibility to protect ourselves, and others.
Everyone should frequently wash their hands (and wash them thoroughly, with soap); maintain at least one metre distance from anyone coughing or sneezing, and avoid physical contact when greeting; avoid touching our eyes, nose and mouth; cover the mouth and nose with a bent elbow or disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing; and stay home and seek medical attention from local health providers, if feeling unwell.
Whilst the virus infects people of all ages, there is evidence that older people (60 and over), and those with underlying health conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer), are at a higher risk.
People in these categories are being advised to take further measures, including ensuring that any visitors wash their hands, regularly cleaning and disinfecting home surfaces, and making a plan in preparation for an outbreak in their community.