What is a Coronavirus?
- Coronaviruses are a class of viruses so named because their electron microscope image resembles the corona of the sun.
- They are usually found in animals, but sometimes get transmitted to human beings possibly through the food chain.
- The symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
- This happened during the 2003 outbreak of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) coronavirus that claimed close to 800 lives.
- The current 2019 strain that had originated in China has been named as 2019 ‘novel’ coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or SARS-CoV-2.
What test is done for coronavirus?
The first test that samples of all suspected patients are sent for is the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
Are antibiotics effective in preventing or treating the COVID-19?
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.
Is COVID-19 the same as SARS?
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.
SARS was more deadly but much less infectious than COVID-19. There have been no outbreaks of SARS anywhere in the world since 2003.
Is COVID-19 airborne?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air. They quickly fall on floors or surfaces.
You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within 1 metre of a person who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.