Coronavirus (CoV) is a member of a large group of viruses that are responsible for causing different illnesses. These diseases range from the common cold to more dangerous diseases such as SARS-CoV , MERS-CoV & SARS-CoV-2.
SARS-CoV-2 (Virus Name) COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease) is a recently found virus in this family that has not been identified in humans previously.
Electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virions with visible coronae.
COVID-19 Animation: What Happens If You Get Coronavirus?
Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab. Credit: NIAID-RML.
Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 ; This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (round gold objects) emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. SARS-CoV-2, also known as 2019-nCoV, is the virus that causes COVID-19. The virus shown was isolated from a patient in the U.S. Credit: NIAID-RML.
Micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virions (red) isolated from a patient during the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.
Illustration of a SARS-CoV-2 virion.
Coronaviruses can be transmitted between animals and people and hence are called zoonotic. Detailed researches have revealed that SARS-CoV was transmitted to humans from civet cats. Similarly, MERS-CoV was transmitted to humans from dromedary camels. As a matter of fact, many other known coronaviruses, which have not yet affected humans, are supposed to be circulating in animals.
Common symptoms of coronavirus disease consist of fever, cough, breathing difficulties and respiratory symptoms. In more severe cases it can lead to more dangerous medical conditions such as severe acute respiratory syndrome, pneumonia, failure of kidneys, and even death.
The standard recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus include washing your hands regularly, covering nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and cooking meat and eggs thoroughly. It is also important to avoid close contact with people showing respiratory illness symptoms such as sneezing and coughing.
These symptoms are often minor and start slowly. Sometimes, even after becoming infected, people don’t feel sick or show any symptoms.
Around 80% of people won't need any special treatment for recovery. However, one in six persons who get infected develop breathing difficulty and become extremely ill.
It is also noted that older adults and people with pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart problems are more likely to get seriously unwell.
Ask for medical attention immediately if you are experiencing symptoms like fever, cough, or difficulty in breathing.
How to protect yourself against the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) ?
Basic Protective Measures
To protect yourself and others from the coronavirus, first, you should be aware of the latest information on the virus outbreak. This information is available on the WHO website. Your local and national public health authorities can also help you to stay updated about the coronavirus outbreak.
Keep in mind that even though most infected people can recover after experiencing mild illness, it can be dangerous for others. Therefore, to protect yourself and others from this deadly virus follow the guidelines mentioned below.
Wash your hands often
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (More than 60% alcohol content) so that viruses on your hands gets killed.
Practice social distancing
If you happen to be near someone who is sneezing or coughing, maintain at least one meter ( 3 feet ) distance from them. This will help you to protect yourself from the virus as small liquid droplets in an infected person’s cough or sneeze contain the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, if you stand too close to such a person and breathe in these droplets, you can also become infected.
Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth
Your hands can become contaminated with the virus easily as they touch many surfaces. Once your hands are contaminated, if you touch your nose, eyes and mouth with it, the virus can get transferred to these organs and enter your body, making you sick.
Maintain respiratory hygiene
As droplets in an infected person's cough and sneeze lead to the spreading of the virus, it is very important to practice good respiratory hygiene to protect yourself and others from infection. Always cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your bent elbow when you cough or sneeze and dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Seek early medical help if you develop cough, fever or difficulty in breathing
Make sure to stay home and follow the instructions of your local health authority if you are unwell. Seeking help from national and local authorities in an early stage will help your health care provider to direct you to the right health facility immediately so that further spread of the virus is stopped.
Follow the advice of your healthcare provider
Your national and local authorities will know about the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in your locality. Therefore, follow their advice on how to protect yourself from getting infected.
Protection measures for people in the affected countries or have recently visited affected countries in the past 14 days
Follow all the protection measures outlined above.
Stay at home until you recover even if you have only mild symptoms such as a slight runny nose or headache. Avoid visits to medical facilities so that these facilities can operate more effectively against the coronavirus. Also, avoid all other types of social contacts with friends and family.
Call in your healthcare provider in advance if you develop cough, fever and difficulty breathing before these symptoms develop into a more serious respiratory condition. Reporting in advance will help your healthcare provider to direct you to the right health facility quickly. Also make sure to share your recent travel history with your healthcare provider.
COVID-19 MYTH BUSTERS
SARS-CoV-2 (Virus Name)
COVID-19 (Disease Name)
Will warm or hot weather kill Corona Virus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) ?
From the data available so far, the coronavirus can be transmitted in all areas regardless of the climate condition of the place. Therefore, make sure to adopt the recommended protective measures if you are an inhabitant or have traveled to a place where COVID-19 cases are reported. One of the basic things you can do to protect yourself against coronavirus is to clean your hands frequently. This will help you to kill viruses on your hands and avoid infection.
Can Snow and cold weather kill Corona Virus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) ?
Snow and cold weather CANNOT kill the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
There is no proof to believe that snow and coldweather can kill the new coronavirus.
Does Taking a hot bath help to prevent coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Infection ?
Taking a hot bath DOES NOT help to prevent coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Infection.Remember that your average body temperature remains between 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the water temperature you use to shower. Therefore, taking a hot bath is not going to make any difference to your chances of infection. However, using extremely hot water can be harmful to you as it can burn you. To protect yourself against coronavirus, clean your hands frequently using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (More than 60% alcohol content) . This will help you to kill viruses on your hands and avoid infection.
Can Mosquito bites infect you with coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) ?
Mosquito bites CANNOT infect you with coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). No information or evidence to date suggests mosquito bites could spread coronavirus. It is a respiratory virus that transmits mainly through cough or sneeze droplets, saliva, and nasal discharge of the infected person. Therefore, make sure to avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Can Hand dryers kill the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) ?
Hand dryers ARE NOT effective in killing the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) ?
The most crucial step to kill the coronavirus is to keep your hands clean and disinfected. For this, clean your hands frequently using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (More than 60% alcohol content) . This will help you to kill viruses on your hands and avoid infection. Using a hand dryer to dry your cleaned hands will not kill the coronavirus.
Does an Ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) ?
An ultraviolet disinfection lamp WILL NOT kill the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) .
Do not use UV lamps to sterilize hands as UV radiation can cause skin irritation in some people.
UV lamps will not help in destroying coronaviruses that have previously entered your body.
UV lamps may be used to disinfect surfaces you often touch with your hands.
Is Usage of Thermal scanners the foolproof method of detecting coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) ?
Thermal scanners ARE NOT a 100% foolproof method of detecting coronavirus infection
Thermal scanners are not entirely effective in detecting coronavirus infection because they are used to identify if a person has a high temperature. If a person is infected, but have not developed high temperature yet, which can take around 2-10 days, thermal scanners will fail to warn us about the virus infection.
Can spraying chlorine or alcohol all over your body destroy the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) ?
Spraying chlorine or alcohol on your body will not help in destroying coronaviruses that have previously entered your body. Spraying these can be harmful to your mucous membranes. However, alcohol and chlorine can be used to disinfect surfaces you often touch with your hands. Make sure that they are used according to appropriate recommendations.
Can vaccines against pneumonia shield you against the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)?
These vaccines, namely pneumococcal vaccine and Hib vaccine,do not protect you against coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 . The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is entirely new to the human race and so it will need a new vaccine. WHO is supporting all the efforts of researchers who are trying hard to develop a preventive vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) . Although not effective against COVID-19, vaccination against respiratory illnesses can protect your general health and is highly recommended.
Can regular saline rinse of your nose prevent the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection?
There is no evidence to prove doing regular saline rinse of your nose can prevent respiratory infections. However, there is limited evidence that doing this can help in faster recovery from the common cold.
Can garlic intake help prevent the new coronavirus infection SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) ?
Garlic indeed has antimicrobial properties. However, there is no proof to support the claim that you can protect yourself from the new coronavirus by eating garlic.
Are older people more susceptible to the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) ?
According to WHO, both young and older adults, irrespective of their age, should take necessary precautions against the infections. However, older adults and people with pre-existing medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease are at a higher risk of getting infected with the virus,
Are antibiotics useful in treating and preventing the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) ?
Antibiotics are not effective against coronavirus. Antibiotics are only effective against bacteria, and so, they should not be used as a means of treatment for the coronavirus infection. However, in case you are hospitalized for the COVID-19, you may be given antibiotics to fight possible bacterial co-infections.
Are there any particular medicines that can be used for the treatment and prevention of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection ?
Unfortunately, to date as of March 25 2020, no medicine is found to be successful in preventing or treating this virus. However, appropriate care can relieve and treat the symptoms in an infected person. For others who are severely ill, optimized supportive care is preferred. The treatment plan for the coronavirus infection is still under investigation, and it need to pass the clinical trials before declaring as a successful way of treating coronavirus. WHO is working with many partners to speed up the research and development efforts in this area.
Questions & Answers
How is COVID-19 transmitted or Spread ?
COVID-19 can be transmitted from one person to another through tiny droplets coming out from the mouth or nose of an infected person when he or she coughs, sneezes, or exhales. These droplets get deposited on various surfaces and objects near the infected person. These viruses get transmitted to a healthy person when he or she touches these infected surfaces and objects with their hands and then rubs or touches their nose, eyes, or mouth.
Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 ) can also transmit to people if they breathe in the cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person.
This is why it is essential to maintain at least one meter (3 feet) distance from a person who is infected with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 .
Research is ongoing to find out more ways in which COVID-19 can be transmitted from one person to another.
Can COVID-19 be transmitted from a person who shows no symptoms of the illness ?
The disease spreads mainly through respiratory droplets expelled by an Infected person who is coughing . The risk of getting COVID-19 from a person who shows no symptoms is shallow. However, keep in mind that during the early stages of the illness, many people show only mild symptoms. Therefore, even if someone just has a slight cough and does not feel ill at all, they are capable of spreading the disease. WHO is assessing ongoing research in this matter and updated findings will be shared to the public as soon as its available.
Can I get COVID-19 from the feces of an infected person ?
Even though preliminary investigations reveal that, in some cases, the virus may be present in the feces of an infected person, it is not the main reason behind such a huge virus outbreak. Therefore, the chances of getting COVID-19 from the feces of an infected person are meager. However, as studies are ongoing, make sure to clean your hands thoroughly before eating and after using the bathroom.
How can I protect myself from COVID-19 and prevent its transmission or spread ?
To protect yourself and others from COVID-19 first, you should be aware of the most recent and correct information on the COVID-19 outbreak. This news is available and continuously updated on the WHO website. You can also get essential information on the disease through your local and national public health authorities. As the situation is unstable, make sure to check for the most up-to-date news regularly.
You can also take some simple precautions outlined below to stay safe
• Clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer (More than 60% alcohol content) regularly to kill the viruses, if any, on your hands.
• Maintain at least one meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is sneezing or coughing so that you can avoid breathing in the cough or sneeze droplets they let out.
• Avoid touching nose, eyes, and mouth with your infected hands to avoid the virus from entering your body through these organs.
• Practice good respiratory hygiene. For this, cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a throwaway tissue when you cough or sneeze. Make sure to dispose of the tissue straight away after use in a closed bin.
• If you are not well, stay at home. Call in advance to your local health authority if you develop symptoms like cough, fever, or difficulty in breathing and follow the directions given by your local health authority so that further spread of the virus is prevented.
• Keep a check on the local areas or cities where COVID-19 is spreading fast. Avoid going to these places, especially if you are an older adult with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes and heart or lung disease.
What is my possibility of catching COVID-19 ?
Your possibility of catching COVID-19 will greatly depend on your geographical location. This means that you have a higher chance of getting infected if you happen to visit or live in a place where the COVID-19 outbreak is unfolding.
Every time a new case of COVID-19 is reported, concerned health authorities and government authorities are taking strong action to limit its spreading. Please make sure to obey all local restrictions on travel and avoid big crowds in your locality.
Also, cooperate with the virus outbreak control efforts in your area. This will reduce your possibility of catching the virus. Keep in mind that COVID-19 outbreaks can be restricted, and transmission stopped if we try hard enough.
Should I worry about COVID-19 ?
COVID-19 infection is often mild in young people and children. However, for one in every five people infected, it can turn dangerous, and the infected person might require hospital care.
It is, therefore, quite natural for people to worry about whether the COVID-19 outbreak will affect them. However, instead of worrying, it is more productive to direct our concerns into actions such as regular handwashing and practice of good respiratory hygiene to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the infection.
Also keep informed and follow the advice of the local health authorities including any restrictions applied on travel, movement and gatherings etc.
Is COVID-19 the same as SARS ?
No. Even though the virus that caused SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in the year 2003 and COVID-19 are related to each other in a genetic sense, they are not the same.
The diseases triggered by them are also different. SARS had a higher mortality rate but was less infectious when compared to COVID-19. Since 2003, there have been no incidents of SARS.
Is it compulsory to wear a mask so that you can protect yourself from the virus ?
There are different types of masks non-medical , medical , Respirators (also known as filtering facepiece respirators --FFR) and available at different performance levels such as FFP2, FFP3, N95, N99) etc..
Wearing a medical mask can limit the spread of certain respiratory viral diseases, including COVID-19. However, the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection. Other measures such as physical distancing and hand hygiene should be adopted.
The evidence and benefits of non-medical masks is limited. One study showed that the risk of respiratory infection is increased (and not reduced) in health care workers using cotton cloth masks when compared to medical masks. Cloth masks are currently being recommended by some countries as a means of source control in the general population. Although their protective effectiveness to the wearer is unknown, they may protect others if the wearer is a pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic carrier. WHO is continuing to gather and review data as new studies become available and will update guidance accordingly.
How to put on, use, take off, and dispose of a mask ?
1. Face masks should be used only by caretakers, health workers, and people with respiratory symptoms like a cough.
2. Before taking out a mask to wear, clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (More than 60% alcohol content).
3. Inspect the mask for tears or holes before wearing it.
4. Position the mask correctly on your face. The side where metal strips are present is the top side of the mask.
5. The colored side of the mask should face outwards.
6. Place the mask in such a way that the metal strips mould perfectly to the shape of your nose.
7. Always pull down the bottom side of the mask so that it can cover your mouth and chin.
8. While taking off the mask after use, keep it away from your clothes and face and gently remove the elastic loops of the mask circling your ears. Also, make sure you don't touch any potentially contaminated portion of the mask.
9. Discard the mask immediately after use. You can throw it in a closed bin.
10. Always perform routine hand hygiene procedures after touching the mask for discarding it. Use Alcohol based hand sanitizer (More than 60% alcohol content) or wash hands thoroughly using soap and water.
How long is the incubation period for coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) ?
The incubation period of a virus means the time between the virus entering your body and the time when symptoms of the disease begin to surface.
The incubation period for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is between one to fourteen days, five being the most common figure. More information on this will be updated as more data becomes available.
Can humans get COVID-19 disease from an Animal ?
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are commonly seen in animals. However, potential animal sources of COVID-19 are yet to be confirmed.
As the risk remains , be careful while going to live animal markets protect yourself by avoiding direct contact with animals, and surfaces in contact with animals.
Also, avoid consuming raw and undercooked animal meat and prevent contamination of uncooked foods while handling raw meat, milk, or other animal organs.
SARS-CoV was associated with civet cats and MERS-CoV is transmitted by dromedary camels. As of March 25 2020 Possible Animal sources of COVID-19 have not yet been confirmed.
Can I catch COVID-19 from my Pet ?
To date, there is no evidence to prove a cat, dog, or any other pet can transmit coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 disease) to humans.
CDC said that it is aware of a small number of pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19.
Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.
It appears that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals in some situations.
CDC said to treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household. If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.
This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.
How long can the virus survive on various surfaces ?
This information is not yet clear. Studies suggest the virus may persist on various surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This time interval may change according to the type and temperature of the surface and humidity of the environment. You can clean the infected surface using a simple disinfectant to kill the virus. Also clean your hands regularly & Thoroughly with an alcohol-based hand santizer or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
Is it safe to accept a package from a COVID-19 infected area ?
Yes. The probability of your package getting the virus from an infected person is low as they are often travelled long distances, moved frequently, and exposed to various conditions.
•Follow guidelines published by your local and national public health authorities.
What you should do ?
Whatever be the circumstances, if you experience symptoms of COVID-19, try to find medical care as soon as possible before your symptoms become harder to manage. Also, remember to reveal your latest travel history with concerned authorities.