What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Those infected with the coronavirus disease may be asymptomatic or develop flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough & 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 advisory if these symptoms are present. Less commonly, upper respiratory symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose or sore throat may be seen. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea have been observed in varying percentages.
How does COVID-19 get transmitted?
The WHO and the U.S.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say it is primarily spread during close contact and by small droplets produce when people cough, sneeze or talk; with close contact being within approximately 1–3 m (3–10 ft). A study in Singapore found that an uncovered cough can lead to droplets travelling up to 4.5 meters (15 feet). Respiratory droplets may also be produce while breathing out, including when talking.
Though the virus is not generally airborne, the National Academy of Science has suggested that bioaerosol transmission may be possible and air collectors positioned in the hallway outside of people’s rooms yielded samples positive for viral RNA. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhale into the lungs. Initial studies suggest a doubling time of the number of infected persons of 6–7 days and a basic reproduction number (R0) of 2.2–2.7, but a study to be published on April 07, 2020 calculated a much higher median R0 value of 5.7.
It may also spread when one touches a contaminated surface, known as fomite transmission, and then touches one’s eyes, nose or mouth. While there are concerns it may spread via feces, this risk is believe to be low. The virus survives for hours to days on surfaces. Specifically, the virus was found to be detectable for one day on cardboard, for up to three days on plastic (polypropylene) and stainless steel (AISI 304), and for up to four hours on 99% copper. This, however, varies depending on the humidity and temperature.
The coronavirus is most contagious when people are symptomatic; while spread may be possible before symptoms emerge, the risk is low.
What are the preventive measures for coronavirus disease?
Preventive measures to reduce the chances of infection include staying at home, avoiding crowded places, washing hands with soap and water often and for at least 20 seconds, practising good respiratory hygiene and avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. The CDC recommends covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and recommends using the inside of the elbow if no tissue is available. Proper hand hygiene after any cough or sneeze should be followed. The CDC has recommended the use of cloth face coverings in public settings, in part to limit transmission by asymptomatic individuals.