Coronavirus: what it is and how it spreads


CORONAVIRUS, how it is transmitted, symptoms and how to treat it

How coronavirus is transmitted

Coronavirus being a respiratory virus, it is transmitted very easily from person to person by close contact with an infected patient.The main route is the liquids that we can emit by breathing, coughing or sneezing that can reach those close to us. Then, touching the mouth, nose or eyes with contaminated (not yet washed) hands can cause the disease.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control defines very clearly what is meant by close or close contact:

  • when two people are living together;
  • when two people shake hands, hug or kiss;
  • when touching objects that may contain coronavirus secretions such as a used handkerchief or an infected surface;
  • when you are face to face with another person at a distance of less than 2 meters and lasting more than 15 minutes;
  • when you are in a closed room with other people for at least 15 minutes, at a distance of less than 2 meters such as a meeting room, a doctor's waiting room, an airplane cabin, a small shop, etc .;
  • when a health worker or other person assists another person without adequate protection and without following health protocols;
  • when it comes to laboratory personnel handling virus samples and does not use or misuse, the recommended personal protective equipment or unsuitable devices.

About the foods we are told that respiratory diseases are not normally transmitted with food, but it is preferable to follow good hygiene practices and avoid contact between raw and cooked foods. Studies are underway to better understand how the virus is transmitted in this regard.

What are the symptoms of the coronavirus

Symptoms are fever, fatigue and dry cough. Sometimes you can also have aches and pains in the muscles, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. As the disease progresses, the infection can also cause pneumonia, breathing problems, kidney failure, and even death. The people most at risk are the elderly and people who have other diseases such as heart problems, diabetes, hypertension or are immunosuppressed, that is, people who have reduced immune defenses for various causes.

How the coronavirus is treated

There is currently no cure for the coronavirus. Symptom support therapies are done which can be very effective. In any case, intense experimentation is being carried out all over the world to be able to find a cure. And we will make it.

How long does the new coronavirus survive on surfaces

According to what the Istituto Superiore di Sanità tells us, the virus can survive on surfaces for a few hours, even if it is still being studied.

From what we read inAlmanac of Sciences (see bibliography), particular conditions of temperature and humidity, can make the coronavirus survive for up to nine days on inanimate surfaces such as metal, glass or plastic. To contain and eliminate the virus, however, simple precautions are enough using products readily available on the market such as denatured alcohol (ethyl alcohol) or bleach. Matteo Guidotti of the Giulio Natta Institute of Chemical Sciences and Technologies (Scitec) of the Cnr of Milan writes: "A series of specific experimental studies have recently shown how some products easily available at home are able to inactivate the new Coronavirus 2019-nCoV very quickly: adequate disinfection of surfaces such as handles, buttons, tables, shelves, but also waterproof protective devices such as gloves, boots, protective suits or the like, can be effective and very important. Furthermore, these simple preparations can prove useful in emergency situations, in which the availability of specific disinfectant products is limited or even nil. Similar formulations have also been successfully applied in some Lombard public bodies to better address the logistical difficulties in the procurement of decontaminating solutions ».

Therefore, use 75% alcohol (ethanol) or bleach (0.5% chlorine based) as disinfectants to eradicate coronavorus.

When can a person be said to be cured of COVID-19?

A person is considered cured when it results negative in two consecutive swabs carried out 24 hours apart, for the search for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

You may also be interested in the following articles

  • What is the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease better known as CORONAVIRUS
  • CORONAVIRUS, how can we protect ourselves

Bibliographic sources

Higher Institute of Health
Ministry of Health
Scientific American, February 5, 2020.
Almanac of science

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