Coronavirus. Disease, symptoms, treatment. How to protect from the virus
Coronavirus. The plague of the 21st century. Coronavirus Disease Facts How is the new coronavirus transmitted? By close and prolonged contact: If you’re closer than two metres to a person who has con-tracted the illness for more than 15 minutes. By droplet infection: If one person sneezes or coughs, the virus can be transported directly to the mucous membranes in the nose, mouth or eyes of other people. Via your hands: Infectious droplets can get onto your hands from coughing and sneezing. Or you come into contact with a surface contaminated with the virus They can then get into your system if you touch your mouth, nose or eyes. Why is it important to follow rules on hygiene and how to behave around others? We are dealing with a new virus against which humans have not yet developed immunity. That is why so many people are being infected and developing the disease, and why the spread of the new coronavirus must be delayed as far as possible. In particular those at high risk of becoming seriously ill must be protected. These include people over the age of 65, and those with underlying health conditions (high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, cancer) and those with diseases or receiving treatments that weaken the immune system. If we follow all of the rules, we can reduce the risk of exposing these people to the infection. That way we can also ensure that our health system is able to continue to provide good treatment to those who are seriously ill. How long is the period between infection and the appearance of symptoms? And when do people become contagious? The new coronavirus has an incubation period – i.e. the time between infection and the appearance of the first symptoms – of about three to seven days. However, this period can last up to 14 days. People with a viral respiratory disease are generally thought to be most contagious when they have the strongest symptoms. This could, however, be different for the new coronavirus. It might be that people are contagious before this: right before the appearance of their symptoms. What do you have to do if you have been in contact with someone infected with the new coronavirus? If you have been in close contact with someone who has been confirmed as having the coronavirus (distance of less than 2 metres for more than 15 minutes), but who is not living in the same household as you, and with whom you have not had intimate relations: Monitor your condition. If you don’t have any symptoms (high temperature and cough): Monitor your condition to see if you develop any symptoms. If you have mild symptoms (high temperature and cough): Isolate yourself at home until you are free of symptoms. Wait a further 24 hours before going out in public (see info on ‘Self-isolation and self-quarantine’). If your symptoms get worse (fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing) or you have underlying medical condition and are therefore at especially high risk: Call a doctor or healthcare institution. They will then decide if you need a medical consultation, or if it is enough just to stay at home in isolation (see info on ‘Self-isolation and self-quarantine’). If you live in the same household as someone who is infected, or with whom you have had intimate relations: Stay at home in quarantine for five days. Monitor your condition to see if you develop any symptoms (high temperature and cough). Follow the advice above. Can the new coronavirus be transmitted by packages or imports of goods? As a rule, a virus can only survive a few hours on objects. This means that packages (such as toys and other items) taking several days to get here are harmless. Can the new coronavirus be transmitted via foodstuffs? So far there are no known cases of the new coronavirus being transmitted via foodstuffs. How great is the risk that pets (cats, dogs, rabbits, etc.) will be infected by the coronavirus? At present we do not have complete information to answer this question. However, scientists believe the risk is only very small. If a pet lives together in the same home with someone who has coronavirus disease, it might possibly become infected with the virus or contaminated. The animals themselves will not display any symptoms of illness; in other words they will not contract the disease. What should pet owners do if they are put in isolation at home? Pet owners in this situation must as far as possible avoid contact with their pets (cats, dogs, rabbits, etc.). They should have a healthy person look after their animals. If dogs have to go outside, they should be kept on a lead and stay outdoors only briefly. If possible the person accompanying them should avoid contact with other people and animals. Dogs and cats from a household in quarantine do not have to be specially bathed or disinfected. The following rule applies to everyone: wash your hands after contact with an animal.