Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 metre (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air.
The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill.
The alarming levels of spread and severity of COVID-19 across the world, and the alarming levels of inaction prompted the WHO to declare the disease a pandemic.
Protection measures for everyone:
Protection measures for those from COVID-19 areas and those who visited these areas:
Self-isolate by staying at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache, low grade fever (37.3 C or above) and slight runny nose, until you recover. If it is essential for you to have someone bring you supplies or to go out, e.g. to buy food, then wear a mask to avoid infecting other people. If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travellers.
While we are still learning about how COVID-2019 affects people, older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others.
No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19. They should only be used as directed by a physician to treat a bacterial infection.
Not yet. To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019. However, those affected should receive care to relieve symptoms. People with serious illness should be hospitalized. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care.
Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation. They are being tested through clinical trials. The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue, and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing.
No. The virus that causes COVID-19 and the one that caused the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 are related to each other genetically, but the diseases they cause are quite different.
Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19. Disposable face mask can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill then you are wasting a mask.
The "incubation period" means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days. These estimates will be updated as more data become available.
Possible animal sources of COVID-19 have not yet been confirmed. To protect yourself, such as when visiting live animal markets, avoid direct contact with animals and surfaces in contact with animals. Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care to avoid contamination of uncooked foods and avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products.
While there has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong, to date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19. COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently and thoroughly.
It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronavirus may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).
Yes. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.
It is better to stay home if you had travelled from a place susceptible to COVID-19 outbreak or has travelled with people who come from such areas. If you are healthcare worker, it is better to be isolated since you have a higher chance of interacting with an infected person. Not all travellers are required to be isolated. You should cooperate with the checks done at railway stations and buses. If you are showing symptoms of the disease, you must avoid public transport modes.
You have to be extremely alert. Try to keep a safe distance from the passengers. Wash your hands now and then.
Yes. Clean your gadgets with sanitizers before you use them.
Such persons should keep checking their sugar levels. Try to keep home. Avoid interactions with others. It is advisable to be quarantined at home.
Avoid public interactions. Try to keep at least 1 metre distance from others. Do not come in touch with others. You can stop the spread of the virus by maintaining social/physical distancing.
It is a good practice to use handwash. Sanitizers are not a must.
ATMs can act as transmitters. Reduce your dependence on ATMs by turning to digital transactions. Use internet banking or UPI facilities.
People showing symptoms should stay isolated in a separate room. It is better to be in rooms without an air-conditioner. If possible, a single person should take care of the suspected patients. They should always wear gloves and face mask while coming in contact with the person. Change the gloves and face mask regularly. Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. Wash your hands with soap and water or sanitizers after each visit. Do not just throw away used mask. Keep them in separate carry bags and dispose properly.
Make sure that the passenger has undergone the mandatory health checks at the airport. If your relative is flying from a COVID-19 hotspot, inform the health authorities. Do not go to the airport in a crowd. Wear a mask and travel in a non-A/C vehicle to receive the passenger. If the passenger is showing any symptoms, go straight to home or a government hospital and isolate them.
You do not have to panic. But you have to be vigilant. The death rate of COVID-19 is below 4 per cent, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). At the same time, the novel coronavirus is spreading at an alarming rate. Almost 80 per cent of those infected by the virus are recovered without any treatment. About 15 percent of patients will have pneumonia. About 5 percent of patients will be critical. COVID-19 hits the elderly hard. Fatality rates are high among diabetics, cancer, heart and kidney patients. Kerala has a high number of such patients. We have a duty to be vigilant to stop the spread of the virus to such vulnerable population.
If you have cough or cold, keep away from public transport. If you are showing symptoms, you must wear a mask. Keep away from people showing any symptoms. Keep a distance of at least one metre. Avoid touching each other. Use sanitizers now and then.
An infected person can be without any symptoms for up to 14 days but they can still transmit the virus in the meantime. That is the reason why the authorities are insisting that people who had travelled from other countries should be quarantined. Keep away from such persons for 14 days at least.
Avoid going to a hospital unless it is an emergency. Avoid rush hours if you have to visit a doctor. Avoid crowded places. Wear a mask. Avoid touching each other. Keep away from people with cough or cold.
It is a dangerous practice. Germs in saliva can be spread through your fingers easily.
Hard to say at the moment. The situation is changing rapidly. Countries are taking instant decisions as the disease scene unfolds. Avoid travels as much as you can. Contact Norka or the embassy concerned for updated information. Norka has a tollfree number 1800 425 3939. If you are calling from India, 00 91 88020 12345. You could avail of the missed-call facility if you are calling from abroad.
No. If you have just completed isolation, you could go to the nearest health centre to apply for a quarantine release certificate.
There is no evidence on transmission of coronavirus through sweat. Anyway, it is better to avoid community spaces. Gyms may not be that safe because other users could contaminate the equipment while they cough or sneeze.
Only if you can't get hold of a bottle of sanitizer. Spirit evaporates faster.
Such cases have been reported. Scientific conclusions are yet to come by. It is better to err on the side of caution.
Studies are still being carried out in this respect. The virus can survive outside human body for a very little time. The duration of its life outside human body depends on various factors like the material, heat and humidity. All we can do is to stay clear of potentially contaminated surfaces, wash hands thoroughly, cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing and maintain a safe distance from the others.
No treatment has been scientifically proved for the disease.
If you are running a temperature and you have reasons to believe that you have come in contact with an infected person, inform health care workers immediately. Follow their instructions.
You do not have to wear a mask if you have no symptoms of the disease. You can just cover your face with a hanky if you are in an area where COVID-19 is reported from. A mask could be counterproductive if you are not careful enough. The germs from your hands could easily get on to the mask and into your system.
The virus is extremely difficult to be spotted during the incubation period. Even if you are tested negative, you have to maintain social/physical distancing. Even if the test is negative, you could be positive later on in the incubation period.
Maintain safe distance and keep washing hands.
Keep a distance of at least 1 metre from guests. Compulsorily wear a mask. Disinfect the guest rooms, wash rooms and clothes used by guests. Wear a pair of gloves all the time. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently. Switch off the A/C and air the rooms whenever the guests check out. If you spot a guest with symptoms of the disease, call up 1056 to alert Disha, the helpline of the Kerala Health Department. Do not put a common hand towel in common wash rooms. Put up tissue papers, soap and sanitizers. Put an end to the practice of supplying sweets and cumin seeds with the bill on the guest’s table. Do not exhibit such edibles on the bill counter. People take them with their hands. Wash plates and glasses in hot water. Use only boiled water to drink. Cooks and waiters should wear masks and gloves. Wash vegetables well. Cook meats and fish well.
Masks help to prevent germs from getting from one person to another. Only infected persons have to wear a mask. There is no point in wearing more than one mask. You will only reduce the supply of masks which are needed by first responders like police and health care workers.
May not work but you can try anything in an emergency situation.
You can reuse a kerchief or any other cloth to cover your face after washing it with soap and water thoroughly.
It is proven that the coronavirus can thrive even in hot climes.
The virus can’t survive airborne in normal conditions. It has to reach another body soon after exiting one.
You can, if you touch a surface soon after it was contaminated.
If the body fluids have reached stagnant water, it could be a potential source of infection.
If the currency notes have been contaminated by an infected person, they could infect another person.