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2019 Novel Coronavirus FAQs


What is 2019 novel coronavirus?

The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person to person. It has been named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO). This new respiratory virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. Smaller numbers of cases have been identified in several other countries.

How does the virus spread?

This virus probably originally emerged from an animal source but now seems to be spreading from person-to-person, via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes and by close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands.

What are the symptoms of 2019-nCoV?

Patients with 2019-nCoV have reported symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, pain in the muscles and tiredness. It may lead to pneumonia in both lungs, and sometimes, it can lead to death. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as diabetes and heart disease) and with low immunity appear to be more vulnerable to catch the infection. Symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Can I catch 2019-nCoV from my pet?

No, there is currently no evidence that companion animals or pets such as cats and dogs have been infected or can spread 2019-nCoV.

Is there a treatment for 2019-nCoV infection?

Currently, there is no specific treatment or prevention for 2019-nCoV.

Is there a vaccine for 2019-nCoV?

Currently, there is no vaccine to protect against 2019-nCoV.

Preventive Measures for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)/ COVID-19

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick including acute respiratory infections or cold or flu like symptoms.
  • Avoiding close contact with live or dead farm or wild animals.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • 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.
  • Face masks are most effective when used appropriately by health care workers and people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick including acute respiratory infections or cold or flu like symptoms.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Are there any medicines/supportive measures which may help me treating or preventing infection from the 2019 Novel Coronavirus?

There is no medicine/ vaccine available till now which is proven to prevent/treat/cure the infection from the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. However, the following may help in enhancing immunity during a viral outbreak:

  • Herbs such as Guduchi, Tulasi, Amla and Turmeric are traditionally used to boost immunity.
  • Fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C and flavonoids (For example berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots) help support the immune system.
  • Getting enough sleep/rest helps strengthen immunity.

Should I wear a face mask? Will it help protect me?

There is no recommendation from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) right now to wear a face mask. Masks certainly do no harm. They do help to stop the spread of infection, so they can help if someone who is sick wears them. To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of the mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; wash hands with soap and water or rub alcohol based hand sanitizer.