What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may be pathogenic in animals or humans. . It is a well-known fact that several coronaviruses in humans can cause respiratory infections with manifestations ranging in severity from the common cold to more serious illnesses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The last discovered coronavirus is responsible for the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the last discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. COVID-19 has become pandemic and is affecting many countries all around the world.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of are fever, dry cough, and fatigue . Other less common symptoms may also appear in some people, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, skin rash or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms are usually mild and appear gradually. Some infected people show very mild symptoms.

Most patients (about 80%) recover without hospitalization. However, about 1 in 5 people who contract the disease show severe symptoms including breathing difficulty. Older people and those with other health problems (high blood pressure, heart or lung problems, , diabetes or cancer) are more likely to show severe symptoms. Nonetheless, anyone can contract COVID-19 and become seriously ill. People of all ages who have a fever and / or cough associated with difficulty in breathing / shortness of breath, chest pain/ pressure, or loss of speech or movement difficulty should visit a doctor immediately. It is recommended, if possible, to call the care provider or health facility beforehand, so that the patient will be directed to the appropriate service.

How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is transmitted by people carrying the virus. The latter spreads between people mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets expelled through the nose or mouth when a sick person coughs, sneezes or speaks. These droplets are relatively heavy and land not far away. It is possible to contract COVID-19 when inhaling these droplets. It is possible to contract COVID-19 when inhaling these droplets. This is why it is important for people to keep a distance of at least 1 meter from each other. These droplets can be left on objects or surfaces around the sick person (tables, doorknobs and handrails, for example). You may become infected with COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. You must therefore wash your hands regularly with soap and water or with a hydro-alcoholic solution.

WHO is reviewing ongoing research regarding COVID-19 and its transmission and will continue to report updated findings.

Can people with no symptoms spread the virus?

COVD-19 is mainly spread by respiratory droplets expelled by people who cough or have other symptoms, such as fever or fatigue. Many infected people only show mild symptoms. This is very much the case in the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to contract COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, only a mild cough but who does not feel sick.

There are reports stating that asymptomatic people could transmit the virus. The occurrence is unknown yet. WHO is reviewing ongoing research on this issue and will continue to report updated results.

How to protect ourselves and others if we don’t know who is infected?

It is important to wash your hands systematically and always follow the rules of respiratory hygiene. This is the best way to protect yourself and others.

If possible, keep a distance of at least 1 meter from other people. Especially when the closest person beside you is coughing or sneezing. Since some infected people do not have symptoms or show mild ones, the deal is to always keep a physical distance from other people if you live in an area where the COVID-19 virus is circulating.

What should I do if I have been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19?

If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, there is a possibility that you may have been infected.

We consider that there is close contact if you live with a sick person or if you are within one meter of that person. In these cases, it is preferable to stay at home.

If you have to leave your home, you must wear a mask, and stay at least one meter away from other people and do not touch surfaces with your hands. Please help those around you and those close to you to follow these advice as well.

What does self-isolation mean?

Self-isolation is an important measure for people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to avoid infecting others people around them, including their family members.

Self-isolation means, for a person who has a fever, cough or has other symptoms of COVID-19, to stay at home and not go to work, to school or other public places. This self-isolation can be voluntary or in response to the doctor’s recommendation. However, when you go out to a healthcare facility, wear a mask, stay at least one meter away from other people, and do not touch surfaces with your hands.

People who are seriously ill (who need medical attention) should not isolate themselves on their own initiative.

  • Sit in a large, well ventilated room from which has easy access to a sink to wash your hands and a toilet.
  • If impossible, wear a mask, place each bed 1 meter at least from each other.
  • Maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from other people, even family members.
  • Monitor symptoms evolution daily.
  • Self-isolate for 14 days even if you feel like you are healthy.
  • If you have difficulty breathing, contact your doctor immediately, calling him by phone first if possible.
  • Keep your spirits up by staying in touch with the people you love, by phone or online, and by exercising at home.

What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19 and when should I consult?

If you have mild symptoms, such as a cough or mild fever, it is usually not necessary to see a doctor. Stay home, isolate yourself and monitor your symptoms daily. Follow national guidelines for self-isolation. However, you can call 3030, if youre recommended to consult; if you leave home for a healthcare facility, wear a mask, maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from other people, and do not touch surfaces with your hands.

If you have difficulty breathing or pain / tightness in the chest, seek medical advice immediately. If possible, call your doctor first so they can refer you to the most suitable healthcare facility.

What should I do if I have no symptoms but think I have been exposed to COVID-19? What is self-quarantine?

Self-quarantine is, even if you have no symptoms, isolating yourself from other people because you have been exposed to COVID-19. During self-quarantine, you should watch for symptoms evolution. The purpose of self-quarantine is to prevent transmission. Since people who contract COVID-19 can immediately infect others, self-quarantine helps prevent some infections from occurring.

In that case :

  • Sit in a large, well ventilated room from which has easy access to a sink to wash your hands and a toilet.
  • If impossible, wear a mask, place each bed 1 meter at least from each other.
  • Maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from other people, even family members.
  • Monitor symptoms evolution daily.
  • Stay in quarantine for 14 days even if you feel like you are healthy.
  • If you have difficulty breathing, contact your doctor immediately, calling him by phone first if possible.
  • Cheer up by staying in touch with the people you love, by phone or online, and by exercising at home.

What is the incubation period for the coronavirus disease? (Time between exposure to the virus (becoming infected) and symptom onset)

The time between exposure to the COVID-19 virus and the onset of symptoms is usually five to six days, but it can be up to 14 days, which is why fourteen days period is mentioned.

What is the difference between self-isolation, self-fourteen and physical distancing?

The fortnight consists of staying away for 14 days even if you have no symptoms of the disease but are exposed to COVID-19 nonetheless. This is to avoid infecting other people during the incubation period or in the absence of the first symptoms.

Isolation means segregating people who show symptoms of COVID-19 and who may be infectious, in order to prevent the disease from spreading.

Physical distancing is maintaining a physical distance from other people. WHO recommends standing at least one meter away. This is a general measure that should be respected by everyone, even in the absence of symptoms or known exposure to COVID-19.

Can children or teenagers be infected by COVID-19?

Research shows that children and teenagers have the same likelihood of contracting the infection as it is in other age groups, and that children and adolescents can also spread the disease.

Available data to date suggest that children and young adults are less likely to be severely affected, but severe cases can still occur in these age groups.

Children and adults should follow the same self-quarantine and self-isolation measures for exposure or symptoms. . It is especially important that children avoid contact with the elderly and people at risk of serious illness.

How long does the virus survive on surfaces?

It is important to know that the surfaces can be easily cleaned with a common household disinfectant which will eliminate the coronavirus. Studies have shown that the COVID-19 virus can survive 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, less than four hours on copper, and less than 24 hours on cardboard.

Obviously, you must wash your hands with a hydro-alcoholic solution or with soap and water and avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose.

How to safely grocery shop?

When going grocery shopping, wear a mask, maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from other people, and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose. Disinfect cart handles or basket handles before you start shopping. Wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you get home and after handling and putting away the items you have purchased. No confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been transmitted yet through food or food packaging.

How to wash fruits and vegetables?

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Wash them as you normally would: wash your hands with soap and water first, then wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly with running water, especially if you eat them raw.