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What can I do to prevent the coronavirus disease at home

How to Protect Yourself & Others


How to Protect Yourself & Others

Know How it Spreads



·        There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
·        The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
·        The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
·        Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
·        Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
·        These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
·        Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

Medical information

1. What are the symptoms of COVID-19 infection

Symptoms of COVID-19 vary in severity from having no symptoms at all (being asymptomatic) to having fever, cough, sore throat, general weakness and fatigue and muscular pain and in the most severe cases, severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis and septic shock, all potentially leading to death. Reports show that clinical deterioration can occur rapidly, often during the second week of disease.

Recently, anosmia – loss of the sense of smell – (and in some cases the loss of the sense of taste) have been reported as a symptom of a COVID-19 infection. There is already evidence from South Korea, China and Italy that patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection have developed anosmia/hyposmia, in some cases in the absence of any other symptoms.

2. Are some people more at risk than others?

Elderly people above 70 years of age and those with underlying health conditions (e.g. hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and cancer) are considered to be more at risk of developing severe symptoms. Men in these groups also appear to be at a slightly higher risk than females.

3. Are children also at risk of infection and what is their potential role in transmission?

Children make up a very small proportion of reported COVID-19 cases, with about 1% of all cases reported being under 10 years, and 4% aged 10-19 years. Children appear as likely to be infected as adults, but they have a much lower risk than adults of developing symptoms or severe disease. There is still some uncertainty about the extent to which asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic children transmit disease.

4. What is the risk of infection in pregnant women and neonates?

There is limited scientific evidence on the severity of illness in pregnant women after COVID-19 infection. It seems that pregnant women appear to experience similar clinical manifestations as non-pregnant women who have progressed to COVID-19 pneumonia and to date (as of 25 March), there have been no maternal deaths, no pregnancy losses and only one stillbirth reported. No current evidence suggests that infection with COVID-19 during pregnancy has a negative effect on the foetus. At present, there is no evidence of transmission of COVID-19 from mother to baby during pregnancy and only one confirmed COVID-19 neonatal case has been reported to date.

ECDC will continue to monitor the emerging scientific literature on this question, and suggests that all pregnant women follow the same general precautions for the prevention of COVID-19, including regular handwashing, avoiding individuals who are sick, and self-isolating in case of any symptoms, while consulting a healthcare provider by telephone for advice.

5. Is there a treatment for the COVID-19 disease?

There is no specific treatment or vaccine for this disease.

Healthcare providers are mostly using a symptomatic approach, meaning they treat the symptoms rather than target the virus, and provide supportive care (e.g. oxygen therapy, fluid management) for infected persons, which can be highly effective.

In severe and critically ill patients, a number of drugs are being tried to target the virus, but the use of these need to be more carefully assessed in randomised controlled trials. Several clinical trials are ongoing to assess their effectiveness but results are not yet available.

As this is a new virus, no vaccine is currently available. Although work on a vaccine has already started by several research groups and pharmaceutical companies worldwide, it may be months to more than a year before a vaccine has been tested and is ready for use in humans.

Prevention1. How can I avoid getting infected?

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