1. What’s a virus?
There are many different viruses out there, however, Coronaviruses are actually a large family of them which can cause illness in both animals and humans.
2. What is the official name of the virus which was given by World Health Organization (WHO)?
The virus is called Sars-CoV-2, but the disease this virus causes in humans is actually named Covid-19. WHO guidelines disagree naming diseases after geographical regions or specific animals in order to avoid stigmatization. Even thought some world leaders referred to Covid-19 as the ‘Wuhan flu’ or the ‘Chinese virus’ the last names aren’t recognized by WHO.
3. What does COVID-19 stand for anyway?
4. About what percentage of infected individuals recover home, without needing hospitalization according to the WHO website?
The WHO explains that ‘most people (about 80 percent) recover from the disease without needing hospital treatment. Around 1 out of every 5 people who gets Covid-19 becomes seriously ill’. However, take into consideration that this number can only be calculated using the information that we have on the number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19, so it may not be accurate when a large number of people are still untested.
6. What is more effective at removing the coronavirus from your hands?
As strange as it may sound to you, soap and water work better than hand sanitizers and this is mainly because soap loosens the lipids in the virus membrane, causing its structure to fall into pieces and making the virus inactive. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are often used when we aren’t able to wash our hands with soap and warm water, but keep in mind that they are not as effective.
7. How big is that spiky ball we often see on the news?
Imagine that a human hair measures roughly 50,000 to 100,000 nanometers in diameter.
8. What does the virus attach itself to when it enters in our body?
When you are exposed and you inhale the virus-ridden particles, those particles come into contact with cells lining the throat and larynx (voice box). These cells have a large amount of receptors which are known as Ace-2 receptors. It’s on their surfaces where the virus attaches itself.
9. The virus replicates by inserting its RNA into a human cell’s own replication machinery. It makes multiple copies of itself, and these burst out of the cell, causing the infection to spread. What does RNA stand for?
RNA is found in nature as a single strand folded on to itself, rather than a paired double strand like DNA.
10. How long does the coronavirus live on different surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel, according to studies?
Unfortunately, the coronavirus has been detected on a surface up to 3 days after initial contamination, according to one study; and as long as 7 days according to another one. That’s why it is crucial to keep washing your hands properly, and to avoid touching your face.
11. As you already know, this is not the first widespread coronavirus encountered by humans. But could you tell which of these is NOT a type of coronavirus?
Ebola is NOT caused by a type of coronavirus. Sars is actually a pneumonia-like coronavirus that first emerged 18 years ago. Only 8 months later it had resulted in 8,098 cases and 774 deaths in 26 countries. Mers developed 8 years ago and has so far caused around 2,500 cases and more than 800 deaths.
12. Governments around the world have been monitoring the so-called ‘R number’ to determine when to minimize lockdown restrictions. Do you know what the R number means?
The R number is basically the effective reproduction number. An R number that’s above one means that for every person who has the virus, on average, more than one other person will get it. Governments around the world want an R number of less than one, which actually means some infected people are not passing on the virus, and this will slow and minimize its spread.
13. Which organ does COVID-19 affect the most?
The infection enters the body via the airways and spreads to the lungs. The most dangerous symptoms of coronavirus are caused when dead cells and antibodies flood the lungs with fluid and debris while trying to fight off this virus. This drastically minimizes the amount of oxygen that can be supplied to the rest of the body. However, take into consideration that there’s strong evidence of the virus causing damage to other organs, particularly the heart.
14. What’s a safe distance to stay apart from a person who has Covid-19?
WHO recommends ‘maintaining at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and others. Why? When someone coughs, sneezes, or speaks they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person has the disease.’
15. How long will it take to have a vaccine for Covid-19?
“I’m cautiously optimistic that we will get a vaccine,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institutes of Health’s director for infectious diseases, said in an interview. Most experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci think that a coronavirus vaccine is likely to become available in at least 12 months to 18 months.
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