Questions about covid-19 answered by an epidemiologist and WHO technical officer

أسئلة حول وباء كورونا كوفيد19

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Many people have asked many questions about the COVID-19 virus, and in order to address the misinformation spread during these times, doctor Mohammed Al-Hakim, an epidemiologist and technical officer at the WHO office, has answered some questions related to this pandemic.

Will high air temperature eliminate the Corona virus?

There is no scientific evidence yet that the Corona virus (Covid-19) is not transmitted in countries with high temperatures. Rather, all evidence confirms that the virus lives in both humid and hot climates. The virus has already spread to countries with a hot climate, such as the Arab Gulf states, Iraq, and other African countries, as it is spreading in countries with a cold and dry climate.

The current lifestyle of housing, work and mixing with people in closed and air-conditioned places, whether airports, offices, metro stations and trains, helps the virus to spread and spread from one person to another without being affected by the external temperature. It should be noted that the virus needs to be transmitted from one person to another in order to multiply and continue to spread, and therefore the necessary precautions must be followed wherever they live and whatever the climate. Keep washing your hands, covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or bending the elbow and disposing of the tissue safely in the trash can, and also keep a safe distance between you and those around you (at least 1 meter).[1]https://www.who.int/ar/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/q-a-coronaviruses

How long does the Corona virus live on various surfaces, such as boxes, offices, and doors?

It is not known exactly how long the Corona virus (Covid-19) continues to live on different surfaces, but research to date suggests that it is similar to other corona viruses. Studies indicate that corona viruses (including preliminary information about the virus that causes Covid-19 disease) may remain alive on surfaces for a few hours or several days. This may vary depending on conditions (such as surface type, temperature, or environmental humidity). This period may be between two hours and sometimes up to 9 days (the results of preliminary studies and not final results).

So if you think a surface might be contaminated, clean it with a regular antiseptic to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands by rubbing them with an alcohol disinfectant, or by washing them with soap and water frequently. And avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose after touching any surface that you are not sure of cleanliness or that it is free of the virus, especially door handles in public places.[2]https://www.who.int/ar/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/q-a-coronaviruses

What are the most prominent rumors and false information about Corona virus?

Main rumors (and not all) of false information about Corona virus (all of which have no scientific evidence):

  • Corona virus (Covid-19) cannot survive or spread in hot and humid climate.
  • Cold and snow can kill the Corona virus (Covid-19).
  • Applying sesame oil to the skin prevents the Corona virus (Covid-19) from entering the body.
  • Eating garlic helps prevent corona (Covid-19) virus from entering the body (knowing that eating garlic in general is good for health and contains some antimicrobial properties).
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages protects against coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19).
  • Smoking affects Corona Virus 2019 disease (Covid-19).
  • Drinking too much water prevents infection with Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) (knowing that drinking too much water in general is a very healthy and required thing).
  • Corona Virus 2019 disease (Covid-19) can be transmitted by mosquito bites (there is no scientific evidence for this yet).
  • Only the elderly are infected with Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19).
  • Constantly washing the nose with a saline solution helps prevent infection with Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19).
  • Oral rinsing gargle helps prevent infection with Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19).[3]https://www.who.int/ar/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/q-a-coronaviruses

Why is it taking so long to make medicine or cure the Coronavirus?

Because Corona virus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is a new disease and there was no knowledge of the existence of this virus and this emerging disease before the outbreak of outbreak in the Chinese city of Johann in December 2019. It is only natural that research and clinical trials take time for scientists to arrive. Accurate and sound results on the effectiveness of treatment or even a vaccine that can be used to reduce the spread of the disease. To this day, there is neither a vaccine nor a specific antiviral drug to prevent or treat Covid-2019 disease. However, those with it should receive care to relieve symptoms. People with severe illness should be hospitalized. Most patients recover with supportive care. Some potential vaccines and drugs specifically needed to treat this disease are being investigated. It is tested by clinical trial. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat Covid-19 disease.The most effective ways to protect yourself and others from Covid-19 disease are to keep cleaning hands, cover the mouth when coughing by bending the elbow or a tissue, and stay at least one meter (3 feet) from people who cough or sneeze.[4]https://www.who.int/ar/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/q-a-coronaviruses

How were some cases infected with Corona virus recovered?

It should be borne in mind that the disease caused by infection with Coronavirus (Covid-19) is generally mild, especially in children and young adults, since about 80% of cases with the virus have mild and not severe symptoms and most often do not need to receive health care Inside the hospital, the patient remains isolated in his room inside his home and receives treatment for symptoms such as fever and cough until he is cured.

However, infection with the Coronavirus (Covid-19) can cause a serious disease, as about 1 in 5 people (20%) need this disease to receive hospital care. Among them, about 5% need to enter intensive care and be placed on respirators for various reasons, including weakening of the patient’s immunity and health problems that the patient suffers from before being infected with the virus (such as heart disease, diabetes, kidneys, etc.) which may enter the coronavirus patient in case of Critical. In these cases, different countries use protocols (a group of drugs that are tried together) to help the patient raise his immunity, face disease and its complications, and overcome it.

While some western, traditional or home medicines may relieve or alleviate some of the symptoms of the Covid-19 virus, there is no evidence that there are medications currently that can prevent or treat this disease. The World Health Organization does not recommend self-medication with any medications, including antibiotics, either to prevent or treat (Covid-19) disease. However, there are several clinical trials under way that include both western and traditional medicines. WHO will continue to provide updated information in this regard when clinical results are available.[5]https://www.who.int/ar/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/q-a-coronaviruses

Does the Corona virus infect people who recover from it if it infects it again? Will it have the same symptoms?

It is now too early to know or understand the immune response, including the duration of acquired immunity, for patients with Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) because this takes months and perhaps a few years to know the duration of the immunity in a person after infection. Since the first case of the disease was registered in December 2019, that is, only three months ago, it is still early to know or understand the immune response and acquired immunity to the disease.

However, there may be some rare cases so far that have recorded a renewed infection with Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) and that have been recorded in a very limited number of countries so far (in China and Japan, based on available information).

However, if the Corona virus (Covid-19) is compared to another Corona virus, such as MERS-CoV, it is unlikely that the virus will be re-infected soon after they recover. But it is not yet known whether similar immune protection will be observed for patients with Covid-19 virus or not and if they are infected again with the virus, will they have the same symptoms or not?


Follow the WHO website for more details and Keep up to date about COVID-19


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