Coronavirus: frequently asked questions

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When will this end?

This is a difficult question, because a lot depends on how well the virus is contained. Hospitals must be able to safely treat all patients requiring hospitalization. Your country needs to be able to at least test everyone who has symptoms; officials must be able to conduct monitoring of confirmed cases and contacts; and there must be a sustained reduction in cases for at least 14 days.

What should I do if I feel sick?

If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

Should I wear a mask?

Officials have recommended that all the people wear cloth masks if they go out in public. Coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. But there is also doubt among scientists that masks cannot prevent spreading coronavirus.

How do I get tested?

If you’re sick and you think you’ve been exposed to the new coronavirus, it is recommended that you call doctor and explain your symptoms, doctor will decide if you need to be tested. Keep in mind that there’s a chance — because of a lack of testing kits or because you’re asymptomatic, for instance — you won’t be able to get tested.

How does coronavirus spread?

It seems to spread very easily from person to person, especially in homes, hospitals and other confined spaces. The pathogen can be carried on tiny respiratory droplets that fall as they are coughed or sneezed out. It may also be transmitted when we touch a contaminated surface and then touch our face.

Is there a vaccine yet?

No. Clinical trials are underway in the United States, China and Europe. But American officials and pharmaceutical executives have said that a vaccine remains at least 12 to 18 months away.

Unlike the flu, there is no known treatment or vaccine, and little is known about this particular virus so far. It seems to be more lethal than the flu, but the numbers are still uncertain. And it hits the elderly and those with underlying conditions — not just those with respiratory diseases — particularly hard.

What if somebody in my family gets sick?

If the family member doesn’t need hospitalization and can be cared for at home, you should help him or her with basic needs and monitor the symptoms, while also keeping as much distance as possible. If there’s space, the sick family member should stay in a separate room. If masks are available, both the sick person and the caregiver should wear them when the caregiver enters the room. Make sure not to share any dishes or other household items and to regularly clean surfaces like counters, doorknobs, toilets and tables. Don’t forget to wash your hands frequently.

Can I go to the park?

Yes, but make sure you keep six feet of distance between you and people who don’t live in your home. Even if you just hang out in a park, rather than go for a jog or a walk, getting some fresh air, and hopefully sunshine, is a good idea.

© Times of Ukraine