25 Infectious Facts About the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) You Should Know

11Transmission Stages

Researchers have classified different stages of the spread of Coronavirus as thus:

Stage 1 - Imported Cases: These are those who have traveled to virus-hit foreign countries and have come back to the USA.

Stage 2 - Local Transmission: These are those cases who have come in contact with patients who have a foreign travel history.

Stage 3 - Community Transmission: Community transmission is when a patient not exposed to any infected person or one who has traveled to any of the affected countries tests positive. Large areas get affected when community transmission takes place.

Stage 4 - Epidemic: This is the last and the worst stage where the disease takes the shape of an epidemic with no clear endpoint like it did in China.


12At-Risk Age Group

The risk of serious disease and death is higher in older age groups with coronavirus infections. But they aren't the only age groups at risk. An analysis of cases in the U.S. found that 45% of hospitalizations, 53% of intensive care admissions and 80% of deaths were among people 65 and older. The highest percentage of deaths associated with COVID-19 was among people 85 and older.


13Prevention

Strategies for preventing transmission of COVID-19 include overall good personal hygiene, hand washing, avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, coughing/sneezing into a tissue and putting the tissue directly into a dustbin. Those who may already have the infection have been advised to wear surgical masks in public. Social distancing measures are also recommended to prevent transmission. However, some misconceptions like rinsing the nose and gargling with mouthwash are not effective.


14Social Distancing

To stop the spread of coronavirus, officials have instructed the public to practice social distancing -- staying home, avoiding crowds and refraining from touching one another. This may go on probably for several months, but we may have to do it over and over again since the outbreak could come in waves. Research by the Imperial College in Great Britain “would suggest you have to institute these kinds of measures for five months, very vigorously … maybe even longer until we have a vaccine,” according to an infectious disease specialist.


15Lockdown

One study found that placing Wuhan under complete lockdown delayed the spread of coronavirus by nearly 80%.


16Hand Washing

To prevent Coronavirus infection, CDC recommends that people wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the toilet or when hands are visibly dirty; before eating; and after blowing one's nose, coughing, or sneezing. It further recommended using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol by volume when soap and water are not readily available.


17How Soap Works

Washing your hands with good old soap and water is a good way to avoid any kind of viral infection because just any kind of soap (even the cheapest ones) absolutely annihilates viruses. It has to do with how the soap molecules interact with the virus. Soap is made up of two-sided molecules. One side is attracted to water; the other side is attracted to fat. And viruses are made up of material surrounded by a coating of proteins and fat. When viruses interact with soap, that fat coating gets ripped out by the soap molecules. So soap literally demolishes viruses.


18Treatment

There are no specific antiviral medications approved for COVID-19, but development efforts are underway, including testing of existing medications (as of March 22, 2020). Attempts to relieve the symptoms may include taking regular (over-the-counter) cold medications, drinking fluids, and resting. Depending on the severity, oxygen therapy, intravenous fluids and breathing support on a ventilator may be required. The use of steroids may worsen outcomes.


19Flu Comparison

To estimate how easily a virus spreads, scientists calculate its “basic reproduction number,” or R0 (pronounced R-nought). R0 predicts the number of people who can catch a given bug from a single infected person. The current coronavirus virus is estimated to be at about 2.2 (as of March 22, 2020), meaning a single infected person will infect about 2.2 others, on average. By comparison, the common flu has an R0 of 1.3. So it is more contagious than the common season flu.


20Surgical Masks

Standard surgical masks cannot protect you from Covid-19, as they are not designed to block out viral particles and do not lay flush to the face. However, surgical masks can help prevent infected people from spreading the virus further by blocking any respiratory droplets that could be expelled from their mouths. N95 respirators have been shown to greatly reduce the spread of the virus; however, proper training is required to correctly fit the N95 respirators around a person’s nose, cheeks and chins to ensure that no air can sneak around the edges of the mask.

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