The rapid spread of coronavirus, after a dramatic outbreak in a seafood market of the Wuhan district of China, has the world on its feet. There is a global health emergency, and markets have crashed like never before. Almost, every single human on the face of the earth has been affected by it in one way or another, and there seems to be no stopping it.
In the U.S.A., the centre for disease control and prevention (C.D.C.) has advised people to get ready for disruptions in daily life routines, along with tips on how to deal with it. While you brace yourselves for facing it, here are several questions and their answers.
Does this virus spread from person to person?
Yes, it does. It spreads from one person to another through saliva and the mucus. Coughing, sneezing, and shaking hands with infected persons are the primary channels of transfer of the virus and should be avoided.
Similarly, eating from a suspicious infected place should also be avoided. We have to ensure that our everyday custom food and beverage boxes are adequately sealed when we buy them. While it seems very over-cautious, there are zero margins of error in this regard.
What is the incubation period of coronavirus?
The incubation period is the time from when a person is infected to the time the symptoms start showing. Many studies have suggested that this period is somewhere between four to five days, and in some rare cases, could go up to 14 days.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Dry cough, fever, and sometimes pneumonia-like feeling characterize the infection of coronavirus. There have also been some reports about gastrointestinal issues like nausea and vomiting, but it is scarce. It is also important to note that in some cases, the patient could show no symptoms until the last stage of infection.
Are masks helpful?
Since the outbreak of an epidemic, profiteers have skyrocketed the prices of the face masks in anticipation of growing demand. While you should be following the local instructions given to you, which are specific to your area, generically, the masks are not as much help.
The use of the mask is only directed to those who are infected from it or the suspects. People who have recently travelled back from the infected countries should wear them so that if they are infected, they do not spread it further.
Should we accept packets from china
It is important to note that the packages, like the frozen food boxes, and other products from china if they are sealed, are fine to use. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the trade has been cut off, and stock before the virus is safe.
How deadly is COVID19?
We do not know for sure yet. However, various health institutes around the globe have said that the fatality rate of this virus is somewhere between 1-2% for healthy people, and the percentage increases with age.
How is the virus confirmed?
In the U.S.A, C.D.C. carries out specialized tests to confirm the virus. It is essential not to take common flu with the coronavirus, and should always get tested from the nearest C.D.C. Furthermore, the C.D.C. is trying to send the kits to every state to help the testing locally.
Can I catch the coronavirus by eating food prepared by others?
As we are still learning more about the behaviour of the spread of this virus, it is yet unclear. However, if there is any such case, it would be an exception rather than a rule. The virus would likely not survive the cooking and perish.
It is also a healthy practice to cook food properly to ensure the safety of food from various viruses. Similarly, pasteurized food in the food boxes is also safe to consume.
Should I restrict my travelling?
It is subjective and depends upon where you are travelling. Always follow the travel guidelines from your local authorities. Furthermore, it is not really a smart idea to travel to an infected state.
What is a quarantine?
Once an epidemic is spread to an area, to avoid its further outbreak, the infected areas are closed down. You can travel in or out from those areas until the situation is controlled. Such a place is called a quarantine, and currently, the most extensive coronavirus quarantine is the entire Wuhan district of china.
Other infected countries like the south and north Korea, Japan, and Italy have also quarantined a few areas to control the further outbreak. As the virus grows, we will see more quarantines around the globe.
Is there any vaccine available for COVID19?
For now, there is no vaccine available for coronavirus. However, many countries and pharma are trying hard to come up with a practical and cheaper solution.
In 2003 during the outbreak of SARS, the virus ended before its vaccine entered clinical testing. It could very well be the same case with the coronavirus.
How much should we be prepared?
We should be prepared, and not necessarily for ourselves, but also for reducing the risk for others around us. We should be prepared not because we are facing any doomsday for humanity, but because we can alter every aspect of this risk as a society.
You need to be prepared because your elderly neighbours need you to be ready. It is not the right thing to store vast food supplies, and shorten it for others. While on the one hand, it reduces supplies; on the other, it inflates the prices of the basic needs for everyone else.
We should not adopt the prepper and survivalist subculture, but a more rational approach towards an epidemic that threatens us as a whole. Such epidemiological numbers are not immutable, and neither are they fixed. Where they land, and their actions depend upon how well we are handling them and what our reactions are. The reality is that there is a little point ‘preparing’ for catastrophic situations that we envision for when we store food for the next infinite years.