As the coronavirus is spreading around the world, the news is coming at a fast and furious pace. But don’t send the quantity in a panic about your health and your loved ones.
Brown University’s infectious disease specialist Drs. Marguerite Neil said, “The mantra is, ‘keep calm and move on.”
Here is a list of frequently asked questions about coronavirus outbreaks and its symptoms.
What should I look for?
Symptoms of this infection include fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath. The disease causes lung lesions and pneumonia. But mileage cases can be similar to flu or a bad cold, which makes it difficult to detect.
Patients may also exhibit other symptoms, such as gastrointestinal problems or diarrhea. Current estimates suggest that symptoms may show up to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
What should I do if I feel ill?
If you feel that you are sick as a result of the novel coronavirus, you can help protect your loved ones and community by staying home, except for medical care.
Current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that if you notice symptoms and you call a medical professional
– Live in or have traveled to a known coronavirus virus outbreak area
– Has close contact with another person who lives or has lived in an area known to have a known coronavirus virus outbreak
– There has been close contact with another person who has become infected.
Calling your doctor or health professional will help prepare them for your visit and prevent the spread of the virus to others in the office. Be sure to wear a mask when you go to the doctor’s office and when you are around other people.
The CDC also suggests that you avoid public transport, ride-sharing services, and taxis and that you isolate yourself from other people and animals in your home as soon as possible.
For more information, several state health departments have set up hotlines, but long wait times have been reported.
What if someone in my family becomes ill?
Follow the same steps listed above if you think that your child, or someone else in your household, may be infected. Both coronaviruses and influenza are the most dangerous for those who are older than 65 or have chronic diseases or weakened immune systems. However, the flu is far more dangerous for children, especially among very young people. Children infected with the new coronavirus have mild or no symptoms.
How does this compare to the flu?
Although the symptoms are similar, coronavirus is more deadly than the flu – so far – and more contagious. Initial estimates of coronavirus mortality from the epicenter of the outbreak of Wuhan, China, are about two percent, while the seasonal flu kills, on average, about 0.1 percent of people who become infected.
To compare, the 1918 flu had an unusually high death rate, about two percent. Because it was so contagious, the flu killed millions of people.
How does the virus spread?
The new coronavirus spreads very easily, especially in homes, hospitals, churches, cruise ships, and other confined spaces. It appears to spread through droplets in the air from a cough or sneeze.
Does any surface look dirty or clean? If an infected person sneezes and a small land appears on a surface, a person who touches that surface can pick it up.
A study of other coronaviruses found that they remained on metal, glass, and plastic for two hours to nine days. But there is good news: the virus is relatively easy to destroy using a simple disinfectant.
Is there any treatment? What about a vaccine?
There are no approved antiviral drugs for coronaviruses, although many are being tested. For now, doctors can recommend only common treatments for any viral disease: medication to relax, pain and fever, and fluids to avoid dehydration.
Coronavirus suffering from pneumonia needs oxygen and a ventilator in case of difficulty in breathing.
An experimental vaccine for coronavirus may be ready for testing in humans within a few months. But even if it is approved, it will be at least one or two years longer, before it becomes available for widespread use. Meanwhile, experts are urging people and their children to take flu shots.
My partner / friend / parent / child is very worried. How serious is it?
This virus can be fatal, obviously; Government officials and medical experts around the world are issuing stern warnings. But the vast majority of infected people have only mild symptoms and recover completely.
To avoid unnecessary global panic and get a clear picture of the possibility of transmission, it is important to keep this in mind.
“Many people are getting nervous now, and some are actually increasing the risks,” Dr. Said Jin Dong-yan, a virology specialist at the University of Hong Kong. “For governments, for public health professionals – they also have to deal with them, because they will also be harmful.”
Fine. Then why are experts so worried?
Unlike other, more mild coronaviruses, it is causing one of several deaths.
Experts still do not know much about it, including whether it is contagious or how it spreads.
However, coronavirus mortality maybe even lower – as most experts suspect – there are many mild or symptom-free cases that have not been detected. Nevertheless, a disease with relatively low mortality can also catch a large number of people.