How is the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmitted?
Both. The virus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (through coughing and sneezing), and by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and then touching your mouth, nose, eyes.
Can I catch the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from my pet?
No. There is no evidence to date that pets such as cats and dogs can spread the virus that causes COVID-19.
What are the best ways to protect yourself from catching the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?
All of them. And we should all help limit the spread of the disease by seeking medical care early if we have symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath). We should stay at home while we have symptoms, avoiding going to public places to prevent spreading to others. Cough or sneeze into our elbow or tissue, dispose of used tissues immediately and wash your hands right after.
Who does the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) affect?
Everyone. People of all ages can be infected by the virus and should take precautions to protect themselves, washing hands often with soap and water. Older people, and anyone with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease among others) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
What percentage alcohol in hand rubs and disinfectants is needed to kill the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?
Hand sanitizer or alcohol rub to clean surfaces should contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective.
Is there a vaccine or a specific medicine to prevent or treat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?
No. There are not yet any vaccines or specific medicines that can prevent or cure the virus. Scientists are working on developing a vaccine. However, it’s important to remember that many of the symptoms of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) can be treated and getting early care from a healthcare provider can improve outcomes. Most patients recover with supportive care.
For how long should you wash your hands to kill the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?
At least 20 seconds - about the length of time it takes to sing the “happy birthday” song twice. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; and going to the bathroom.
Is the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) the same as the flu?
No. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the flu (influenza) are different infectious diseases, caused by different viruses. While they are both respiratory illnesses spread in a similar way (respiratory droplets), and can have similar symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), other characteristics are different. For example, unlike for COVID-19, there is a vaccine for influenza – and it’s currently flu season in the Northern Hemisphere. So, it’s important to prevent influenza (and prevent symptoms that could be mistaken for COVID-19) by getting the flu vaccine, in addition to keeping up to date with other vaccinations.
Can the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) be transmitted in both hot and cold temperatures?
Yes. The virus is being transmitted in places with both hot and cold temperatures. It is not yet known whether seasonal weather and temperature changes will impact the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Some other viruses, such as those causing the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months, but it is still possible to become sick with these viruses during warmer months. However, we do know that cold weather and snow alone cannot kill the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). And taking a hot bath will also not prevent you from catching the virus!
Can COVID-19 spread through food?
It is highly unlikely that people can contract COVID-19 from food or food packaging. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness and the primary transmission route is through person-to- person contact and through direct contact with respiratory droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes. There is no evidence to date of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses being transmitted via food or food packaging. Coronaviruses cannot multiply in food; they need an animal or human host to multiply.