Get to know the best protective measures and symptoms.
Get to know the best protective measures and symptoms.
Rocket Health is a direct-to-consumer service of The Medical Concierge Group (TMCG), an African digital health and telemedicine company that connects patients to healthcare providers and services via information and communication technologies. With telemedicine experience spanning over 7 years, Rocket Health allows patients to have their medical tests done at the time and place of their convenience, order for pharmacy deliveries and visit the clinic at a convenient time.
What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). We are putting more focus on the novel coronavirus (COVID 19) which is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
How is the virus spread?
COVID-19 is a zoonotic, meaning it’s transmitted between animals and people. The virus is transmitted mainly via respiratory droplets that people sneeze, cough, or exhale. The virus can also survive for several hours on surfaces such as tables and door handles. The virus can be transmitted when people who are infected show flu-like symptoms (i.e. people who are infected but who do not show symptoms cannot transmit the virus).
What are the symptoms of the virus?
The virus can cause mild, flu-like symptoms such as:
More serious cases develop severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis and septic shock that can lead to death.
How long does it take from the time a person is infected when symptoms develop?
The incubation period for COVID-19 (i.e. the time between exposure to the virus and onset of symptoms) is currently estimated at between two and 14 days.
Are some people at higher risk of the virus?
Generally, elderly people and those with underlying health conditions (e.g. hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer) are considered to be more at risk of developing severe symptoms.
Disease in children appears to be relatively rare and mild. A large study from China suggested that just over 2% of cases were under 18 years of age. Of these, fewer than 3% developed severe or critical diseases. There is no published evidence yet on the severity of illness among pregnant women after COVID-19 infection.
How is a person tested for coronavirus?
There are special tests available at few/specific centres that can be used to diagnose COVID-19. These tests look for the presence of genetic materials of coronavirus in the collected specimen. Examples of specimens that are used include:- blood serum, sputum in persons coughing and or throat swab.
What should I do to protect myself from the virus?
The main prevention modality from COVID-19 is hand hygiene by washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or cleaning hands with alcohol-based solutions, gels or tissues is recommended in all settings. Additional measures include: -
Avoid crowded places
Avoid handshaking/unnecessary body contact
Caution on travelling to countries where cases have been reported
Do you have a vaccine that protects one from coronavirus?
There are currently no vaccines against human coronaviruses, including the virus that causes COVID-19. This is why it is very important to prevent infection and to contain further spread of the virus.
What should I do if I come into contact with a person suspected to have coronavirus?
If you happen to come in contact with such a person, make sure to self-quarantine (self-isolation) for at least 14 days as you monitor to see if you develop any of the earlier listed signs/symptoms of coronavirus.
Can I get coronavirus from someone’s sweat?
The virus is mainly transmitted through respiratory droplets after one has sneezed, coughed, or exhaled. However, avoiding unnecessary body contact is advised to further reduce the risk of getting the virus.
How long does the infection last in someone’s body?
The incubation period for COVID-19 (i.e. the time between exposure to the virus and onset of symptoms) is currently estimated at between two and 14 days. However, the duration from being infected to when one’s symptoms resolve is not known. In addition, it is not known that the resolution of symptoms means the virus is totally out of one’s body.
Is there a cure for the virus? If so, what is the cure?
There is no known cure for COVID-19. However, confirmed cases are given supportive treatment.
Does coronavirus have similar symptoms as influenza?
In its early stages of infection, a person with COVID-19 will have flu-like symptoms which may include feeling feverish, general body pains, cough, tiredness and more.
Can I take the influenza vaccine to protect myself against coronavirus?
No, influenza and COVID-19 have different causes as such the influenza vaccine will not protect you from coronavirus (COVID-19).
Is it safe to receive a package from any country where coronavirus is reported?
If the package is not an animal or human, then yes, it is safe as the virus being zoonotic can only be spread between animals and humans.
Can animals contract coronavirus from humans?
This is not known, however, being a zoonotic disease animals (like bats, pangolins) have been thought to be the reservoirs of the virus.
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