FAQs: All You Want To Ask About COVID-19
This is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are known to cause illness in humans and animals. In humans, this large family of viruses are known to cause illness ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
To date, we do not know how humans have become infected with this virus. Investigations are underway to determine the virus source, types of exposure that lead to infection, mode of transmission and the clinical pattern and course of disease.
There is no vaccine currently available.
There is no specific treatment for disease caused by novel coronavirus. However, many of the symptoms caused by this virus can be treated and therefore treatment should be based on the symptoms of the patient. Moreover, supportive care for infected persons can be highly effective. While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of mild COVID-19, there are no medicines that have been shown to prevent or cure the disease. Self-medication is not recommended. However, there are several ongoing clinical trials of both western and traditional medicines.
Some general measures that would be prudent and help prevent the acquisition of any respiratory illness are to avoid close contact, when possible, with anyone who shows symptoms of illness (coughing and sneezing), and to maintain good hand hygiene.
Health care workers come into contact with patients with many different infectious illnesses more often than the general public. We recommend that healthcare workers consistently apply appropriate infection prevention and control measures.
SARS is a coronavirus that was identified in 2003 and belongs to the same large family of viruses as the novel coronavirus. Therefore, SARS and the novel coronavirus are distantly related. Both viruses are capable of causing severe disease. However, they have important differences based on current information. Most importantly, the novel coronavirus does not appear to transmit easily between people while the SARS virus was much more transmissible.