- What is the difference between the coronavirus and the influenza virus?
- What are some of the symptoms of the COVID-19?
- Does COVID-19 or the flu have a higher transmission rate?
- How dangerous is the coronavirus disease?
- Can the coronavirus spread via feces?
- Can smoking waterpipes spread the coronavirus disease?
- What is the incubation period of the coronavirus disease?
- Who is at risk for coronavirus?
- Can the coronavirus disease be transmitted in hot or humid climates?
- Are the elderly more vulnerable to the coronavirus disease?
- What should I do if I feel unwell during the COVID-19 pandemic?
What is the difference between the coronavirus and the influenza virus?
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The speed of transmission is an important point of difference between the two viruses. Influenza has a shorter median incubation period (the time from infection to appearance of symptoms) and a shorter serial interval (the time between successive cases) than COVID-19 virus. The serial interval for COVID-19 virus is estimated to be 5-6 days, while for influenza virus, the serial interval is 3 days. This means that influenza can spread faster than COVID-19.
Further, transmission in the first 3-5 days of illness, or potentially pre-symptomatic transmission –transmission of the virus before the appearance of symptoms – is a major driver of transmission for influenza. In contrast, while we are learning that there are people who can shed COVID-19 virus 24-48 hours prior to symptom onset, at present, this does not appear to be a major driver of transmission.
What are some of the symptoms of the COVID-19?
Symptoms of COVID-19 are variable, but often include fever, cough, fatigue, breathing difficulties, and loss of smell and taste. Symptoms begin one to fourteen days after exposure to the virus.
Does COVID-19 or the flu have a higher transmission rate?
The reproductive number – the number of secondary infections generated from one infected individual – is understood to be between 2 and 2.5 for COVID-19 virus, higher than for influenza. However, estimates for both COVID-19 and influenza viruses are very context and time-specific, making direct comparisons more difficult.
How dangerous is the coronavirus disease?
Although for most people COVID-19 causes only mild illness, it can make some people very ill. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and those with pre- existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes) appear to be more vulnerable.
Can the coronavirus spread via feces?
There is some evidence that COVID-19 infection may lead to intestinal infection and be present in faeces. However, to date only one study has cultured the COVID-19 virus from a single stool specimen. There have been no reports of faecal−oral transmission of the COVID-19 virus to date.
Can smoking waterpipes spread the coronavirus disease?
Smoking waterpipes, also known as shisha or hookah, often involves the sharing of mouth pieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in communal and social settings.
What is the incubation period of the coronavirus disease?
The incubation period of COVID-19, which is the time between exposure to the virus and symptom onset, is on average 5-6 days, but can be as long as 14 days. Thus, quarantine should be in place for 14 days from the last exposure to a confirmed case.
Who is at risk for coronavirus?
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The virus that causes COVID-19 infects people of all ages. However, evidence to date suggests that two groups of people are at a higher risk of getting severe COVID-19 disease. These are older people (that is people over 60 years old); and those with underlying medical conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer). The risk of severe disease gradually increases with age starting from around 40 years. It's important that adults in this age range protect themselves and in turn protect others that may be more vulnerable.
WHO has issued advice for these two groups and for community support to ensure that they are protected from COVID-19 without being isolated, stigmatized, left in a position of increased vulnerability or unable to access basic provisions and social care.
Can the coronavirus disease be transmitted in hot or humid climates?
From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
Are the elderly more vulnerable to the coronavirus disease?
The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the global population in drastic ways. In many countries, older people are facing the most threats and challenges at this time.
Although all age groups are at risk of contracting COVID-19, older people face significant risk of developing severe illness if they contract the disease due to physiological changes that come with ageing and potential underlying health conditions.
What should I do if I feel unwell during the COVID-19 pandemic?
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• Know the full range of symptoms of COVID-19. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include loss of taste or smell, aches and pains, headache, sore throat, nasal congestion, red eyes, diarrhoea, or a skin rash.
• Stay home and self-isolate even if you have minor symptoms such as cough, headache, mild fever, until you recover. Call your health care provider or hotline for advice. Have someone bring you supplies. If you need to leave your house or have someone near you, wear a medical mask to avoid infecting others.
• If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately. Call by telephone first, if you can and follow the directions of your local health authority.
• Keep up to date on the latest information from trusted sources, such as WHO or your local and national health authorities.