What is CoronaVirus?
Coronaviruses are a group of related viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that can be mild such as some cases of the common cold, and others that can be lethal, such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19.
The recent strain (COVID-19) that has been wreaking havoc is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2). The disease was first identified in 2019 in Wuhan, China. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. While the majority of cases result in mild symptoms, some progress to pneumonia and multi-organ failure.
How does the CoronaVirus spread?
The virus is typically spread during close contact and via respiratory droplets produced when people cough or sneeze. It is not considered airborne. It may also spread when one touches a contaminated surface and then their face. The virus can live on surfaces for up to 72 hours. Time from exposure to onset of symptoms is generally between two to fourteen days, with an average of five days.
Can CoronaVirus spread via animals and pets?
Coronaviruses are common in several species of domesticated and wild animals, including cattle, horses, dogs, cats, ferrets, camels, bats, and others. Although not common, coronaviruses can be transmitted from some animals to humans. The Covid-19 outbreak is touted to have happened via an infected bat being eaten by humans. Bats can be reservoir hosts for viruses that can cross species barriers to infect humans and other domestic and wild mammals.
As per the CDC, at this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19. Transmission primarily occurs person-to-person, when there is contact with an infected person’s bodily secretions.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often.
Is there a treatment?
There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms.
What are the ways to protect yourself during the CoronaVirus outbreak?
People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions.
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.