Coronaviruses are viruses, which may cause illness in animals or humans. Most of them are linked to respiratory infections in humans and can range from common cold to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which are more severe than the common cold. The latest discovered, and currently spreading coronavirus is causing the disease COVID-19.
COVID-19 (COronaVIrusDisease-2019) is the disease caused by SARS-CoV-v2, a member of the coronavirus family of viruses. However, in the press and mainstream media, COVID-19 is often also used to refer to the virus responsible for the disease.
Commons symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Other symptoms include diarrhea, gastro-intestinal symptoms.
Current clinical evidence suggests that COVID-19 spreads mainly droplets. The virus is carried within droplets emitted from an infected person over a short distance, such as when the person coughs or sneezes. If these droplets contact the eyes, nose or mouth of another person, directly or indirectly through surfaces contaminated by these droplets, the other person may become infected. Hence, it is important to observe good personal hygiene practices.
It is important to note that an infected person harbouring COVID-19 may not display symptoms, i.e. an infected person can be asymptomatic.
Read more here: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/pdfs/mm6914e1-H.pdf
There is emerging evidence that COVID-19 is stable in the air, similar to SARS-CoV-1, the coronavirus responsible for the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Read more here: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmc2004973.
The good news is there is yet conclusive evidence demonstrating the spread of COVID-19 through the airborne route.
Read more here: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00974-w
The half-life of COVID-19 varies on different surfaces. This means the stability of COVID-19 depends on the surface it is on. COVID-19 is less stable on copper surfaces than plastic surfaces for instance.
Find out more here: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmc2004973
There is currently no clinically proven treatment for COVID-19. Supportive treatment is used to alleviate patient symptoms.
There have been reports of COVID-19 detected in animals, including dogs, cats and even a tiger.
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That said, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is currently no evidence that any pet can transmit COVID-19.
Recommendations from WHO are as follows:
Clinical data demonstrates that elderly and people with pre-existing conditions are most vulnerable to COVID-19.
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The most common way of spreading is human-to-human. Currently it is too early to tell whether you can get infected by your pet.
There is currently no evidence for that. Nevertheless, respiratory droplets from an infected person can remain on surfaces. It is recommended to wash your hands regularly.