How likely are you to die from the virus?
Of the more than 127,000 people who have been infected worldwide, more than 4,700 have died. That’s a death rate of about 3.7%, and the WHO has previously estimated the rate at about 3.4%.
The death rate, however, varies widely based on age, health and geographic location. A February WHO study of more than 55,000 cases in China found that the highest morality rate was among people over 80 years of age (21.9%).
Can someone spread the virus without symptoms?
Yes, some spread might be possible before people show symptoms, according to the CDC. However, people are most contagious when they are most symptomatic.
Does testing positive mean that I have the virus and that I will develop symptoms?
Yes, testing positive means that you have the virus, but it does not mean that you will develop symptoms. Some people who have the virus don’t have any symptoms at all.
At the same time, testing negative does not necessarily mean that you don’t have the virus.
How can I know if I have the coronavirus and should go for a test?
You should call your doctor if you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread. The CDC provides a step-by-step list of what to do here.
What is being given to treat the coronavirus once you’ve become infected?
There is no vaccine for the new virus and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19, so treatment consists of supportive care to help relieve symptoms and, for severe cases, care to support vital organ functions, the CDC says.
About 80% of people recover from the disease without needing special treatment, according to the WHO. For most patients, that means drinking plenty of fluids and resting, just as you would for the cold or flu.
How many children have been diagnosed with the virus? How many of them have died?
Reports out of China that looked at more than 70,000 COVID-19 patients found that only about 2% were in people younger than 19, according to the CDC. A very small proportion of those under 19 years have developed severe (2.5%) or critical disease (0.2%), according to the February WHO study in China.
What are the dangers to pregnant women?
It’s unclear how the coronavirus may affect pregnant women. In general, pregnant women may experience changes to their body that could make them more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, according to the CDC.
There is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted from an infected mother to her fetus, and, in a limited number of recent cases of infants born to mothers with COVID-19, none of the infants have tested positive for the virus, the CDC said.
Should people in their 60s be concerned? Are they considered elderly?
As with seasonal flu, people at highest risk for severe disease and death include people over the age of 60 and those with underlying conditions, according to the World Health Organization.
“Starting at age 60, there is an increasing risk of disease and the risk increases with age. The highest risk of serious illness and death is in people older than 80 years,” Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters in a recent telebriefing.
Are infected people able to transmit the virus to their pets and visa versa?
No, there is no evidence that pets such as cats and dogs have been infected or could spread the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the WHO.
Last month, the pet dog of a coronavirus patient in Hong Kong tested “weak” positive for COVID-19 and was put in quarantine. Scientists concluded that pet cats and dogs can test positive for low levels of the pathogen if they catch it from their owners, but pets can’t get sick from the virus.
Can someone get the coronavirus more than once?
A protective antibody is generated in those who are infected. “However, in certain individuals, cannot last that long. For many patients who have been cured, there is a likelihood of relapse,” said Li QinGyuan, director of pneumonia prevention and treatment at China Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing.
Poland agreed, saying the chance of reinfection is “very likely. However, Eng Eong Ooi, a professor of emerging infectious diseases at Singapore’s Duke-NUS Medical School, said the data is too new to determine definitively whether the immunity will last for a very short period of time, for years or for life.
How long does the virus live on an object like a money bill?
Depending on the type of surface, the virus can stay on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days, according to the WHO. A recent study by scientists in the U.S. found that viable virus could be detected up to three hours later in the air, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.
It’s possible that you can become infected if you touch your face after touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, according to the CDC. But scientists don’t think surfaces are the main way that the virus spreads; the most common form of infection is from respiratory droplets spread by a person’s cough or sneeze, the CDC reports.