COVID-19 FAQ

What is the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus not previously seen in humans. COVID-19 was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China, that has spread around the world, including the United States and all 50 states.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats and bats. Early on, many of the patients at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. Later, a growing number of patients reportedly did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread. Person-to-person spread was subsequently reported outside China, including the United States.

A pandemic is a global outbreak of disease. Pandemics happen when a new virus emerges to infect people and can spread between people. Because there is little to no pre-existing immunity against the new virus, it spreads worldwide. The virus that causes COVID-19 is infecting people and spreading easily from person-to-person. Cases have been detected in most countries worldwide, including the United States, which has recorded cases in all 50 states.

People who are infected with COVID-19 have developed mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath, and potentially respiratory distress 2-14 days after exposure. Call your health care provider for medical advice if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing.

COVID-19 has been shown to spread between people. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others, so CDC recommends these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on the severity of their illness) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others. Human coronaviruses typically spread through the air by coughing and sneezing. How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation, including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.

Diagnosis occurs through laboratory testing of respiratory specimens. Some coronavirus strains cause the common cold and patients tested by their health care provider may test positive for these types.

People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms. There have been reports of this occurring with COVID-19, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms. There have been reports of this occurring with COVID-19, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least 6 feet away from other people reduces the chances of catching COVID-19. Other examples of social distancing with the goal of avoiding crowds, crowded spaces and mass gatherings include working from home instead of the office, closing schools and switching to on-line classes, visiting loved ones by electronic devices instead of in person, suspending worship services, and canceling or postponing large meetings.

Yes, go outdoors for fresh air and exercise. Ride a bike, walk the dog, go for a hike, jog. Social distancing does not mean staying indoors, it means avoiding close contact with people. Remember to wash your hands any time you enter from outdoors and before you eat.

Yes. Buy as much as you need to lessen the number of trips and try and shop when the store is least likely to be crowded. Some grocery stores have designated special hours for the elderly (over age 60), pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems to lessen their exposure to large crowds and possible exposure to COVID-19.

Follow these tips to help prevent COVID-19:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick with respiratory symptoms.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• If you have not already done so, discuss influenza vaccination with your health care provider to help protect you against seasonal influenza.

If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a health care provider’s office. If you are unable to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. If you are not sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

This is a new virus and we are still learning about it, but so far, there does not seem to be a lot of illness in children. Most illness, including serious illness, is happening in adults of working age and older adults. Discourage children and teens from gathering in other public places while school is dismissed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Encourage frequent handwashing and follow other prevention tips.

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are learning more about it every day. Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19. Based upon available information to date, the CDC has said those most at risk include:
● People 65 years and older
● People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
● People who are pregnant
● People of any age with the following underlying medical conditions, particularly those that are not well controlled:
○ Chronic lung disease or asthma
○ Congestive hear failure or coronary artery disease
○ Diabetes
○ Neurologic conditions that weaken the ability to cough
○ Weakened immune system
○ Chemotherapy radiation for cancer (currently or in recent past)
○ Sickle cell anemia
○ Chronic kidney diseases requiring dialysis
○ Cirrhosis of the liver
○ Lack of spleen or a spleen that doesn’t function correctly
○ xtreme obesity (body mass index (BMI) great than or equal to 40)

Yes. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. To disinfect, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.

No. Currently, a vaccine for COVID-19 is not discovered.

Currently, there are no specific treatments recommended for illnesses caused by 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. 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.

There is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease. WHO does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19. However, there are several ongoing clinical trials that include both western and traditional medicines. WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings are available.

The immune response to COVID-19 is not yet understood. Patients with MERS-CoV infection are unlikely to be re-infected shortly after they recover, but it is not yet known whether similar immune protection will be observed for patients with COVID-19.

A 24*7 helpline has been set up by GoI at NCDC, New Delhi to answer all the queries regarding the disease. The GoI is closely monitoring the situation and has ascertained the level of preparedness in every state of India. As this is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation the GoI will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available.

No airline will bring any passenger from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland,France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey,United Kingdom effective 12.00 GMT on March 18,2020 at Port of Departure. No airline will bring any passenger from the Philippines, Malaysia and Afghanistan effective 15.00 IST on March 17, 2020 (Port of Departure).

There will be no transit through these countries as no aircraft will board passengers for India in these countries.

1. All passengers coming from/transiting through UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait after 12.00 GMT on March 18, 2020 (Port of Departure) will be quarantined. 2. Those who have visited China, Republic of Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, France and Germany on or after Feb 15, 2020 will be quarantined.

A Only for those who are coming from the Republic of Korea or Italy. Passengers from Italy shall not be allowed effective 12.00 GMT on March 18,2020 (Port of Departure).

The CDC, while not having any statistical information on this issue, stated that according to previous observations, stillbirth and miscarriage occurred in cases of SARS and MERS coronaviruses during pregnancy. The CDC added that suffering from high fever in the first trimester of pregnancy can increase the risk of birth defects.

Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date.

No. The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. However, children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms. Reported symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported. It’s not known yet whether some children may be at higher risk for severe illness, for example, children with underlying medical conditions and special healthcare needs.

No. If your child is healthy, there is no need for them to wear a facemask. Only people who have symptoms of illness or who are providing care to those who are ill should wear masks.

At this time, there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread to people from the skin or fur of pets.

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the new coronavirus.

There is currently no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of COVID-19.