The coronavirus known as COVID-19 is originated in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The virus is highly contagious and can spread primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs and sneeze. There are now more than 90,000 people infected, and more than 3,000 deaths worldwide.
Here’s the answer for some frequently asked questions:
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Does washing hands regularly help or alcohol can kill coronavirus?
Yes. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said:
"Everyday preventive actions help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses."
Wash the hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing the nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
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Is it safe to have close contact with others?
CDC does not encourage close contact with people fewer than 2 meters, and not more than 30 minutes. Avoid handshaking to reduce the risk of catching the disease. In some cases, affected people may not feel sick but could spread it.
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Can your pet get coronavirus?
Pets cannot get coronavirus and neither can they spread the virus, according to CNN report.
Dr. Niels Pedersen Ph.D., a professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the U.C. Davis Veterinary Medicine school said:
"The feline and dog coronaviruses, which people are most interested in, do not infect humans and vice versa."
However, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals.
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How to wash clothes?
All underwear, towels and household linen should be washed in high heat at 60C or 40C with a bleach-based laundry product to prevent microbes spreading, according to the NHS.
Use a dryer on high heat for more than half an hour to kill harmful micro-organisms or hang up the clothes outdoors under direct sunlight.
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When to use masks?
CDC does not recommend using a facemask if a person is well. Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease. It is best to wear facemasks if part of health workers or people who are caregivers.
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What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
The symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and includes runny nose, fever, headache, cough or other respiratory problems, aches and body chills. It is possible to be asymptomatic, infected but have no symptoms.
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Do bats cause coronavirus?
Some people have claimed that "bat soup” was to blame for the disease spreading, but that was later debunked.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., suggested that the outbreak may have came from a virology laboratory in Wuhan, China. There is also some possibility that a virus was a leaked bioweapon, others said.
Carolyn Machamer, a professor of cell biology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore said:
"The closest bat virus that we've seen is not able to infect human cells, so there had to be some intermediate animal,"
"The bat virus can infect an intermediate animal, and during that replication, mutations arise that could promote infection in humans if they are in close contact."
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Can coronavirus live on hard surfaces?
It remains unclear how long it might live on, but surfaces that are touched all the time like doorknobs or even tables that someone who is sick, should be clean and disinfect frequently using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
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Can I travel abroad?
Avoid all non-essential travel as much as possible, especially to restricted areas like mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau, and Italy.
However, if necessary, take precautionary hygiene measures. Avoid contact with sick people and clean your hands often.
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Do packages shipped from China have Coronavirus?
According to US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus does not survive well on surfaces. Hence, there is an extremely low chance that the packages have the virus.
Deanna is full time content writer and blogger with her fingers on the pulse when it comes to breaking news. She keeps her focus on contributing in depth news to her audience and when she's not writing she' loves travelling to new destinations