This page was last updated on: 08/4/2020 at 011:25 AM.
COVID-19 FAQs: Information about coronavirus/COVID-19
Q: What is coronavirus?
A: There are seven strains of human coronavirus. Four cause common cold-like symptoms, and the other three can cause much more severe lung infections, such as pneumonia. The three more serious types are SARS-CoV-1 virus, MERS virus and the latest one named SARS-CoV-2, which is currently causing a worldwide outbreak of infections and is referred to as COVID-19. The newest strain arose in China in December 2019 and is a bat strain of coronavirus that mutated so it can now infect humans. Because the world’s population lacks immunity to the virus, and there is no current vaccine against it, COVID-19 infection has spread wildly worldwide.
Q: How is COVID-19 transmitted?
A: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this new form of coronavirus is spread mostly by person-to-person contact but it can also be spread by auto-infection, which means a virus is picked up from a contaminated surface onto a hand then rubbed into an eye or mouth by accident. There is no evidence that the virus is transmitted in the mail or in packages.
Social distancing, frequent hand washing and covering a cough are key measures to lessen the chance of becoming infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Q: Should I wear a face mask to protect myself from COVID-19?
A: On July 1, the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health signed an order requiring all people to wear face masks when:
- Outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet from individuals who are not members of their household.
- In any indoor location where members of the public are generally permitted.
- Obtaining services from the health care sector in settings including, but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic or blood bank.
- Engaged in work, whether at the workplace performing work off-site, when interacting in-person with any member of the public, working in any space visited by members of the public, working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others, working in or walking through common areas, or in any room or enclosed area where other people, except for members of the person’s own household or residence are present when unable to physically distance.
Some people may carry the coronavirus without experiencing any symptoms, while the virus may be life-threatening to others. Although there are some known risk factors, it is still unknown how each person will respond to COVID-19. A cloth face mask is not intended to protect the person wearing it – it is a way to protect those who are the most vulnerable in our community.
COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets that can be created when someone coughs or sneezes. A cloth mask keeps those droplets from traveling through the air.
Q: How can I protect myself from coronavirus, or other viruses?
A: When possible, distance yourself from others. This includes utilizing home delivery/online ordering whenever possible and keeping 6 feet of physical distance between you and from others.
In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) reminds all people to follow “respiratory hygiene,” meaning if you sneeze or cough, do so into the crook of your elbow to stop expelled droplets from traveling into the air. All people should be mindful of hand washing or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer regularly as proven ways to reduce chances of becoming infected
Q: Why is COVID-19 a concern?
A: COVID-19 has caused illness ranging from mild upper respiratory symptoms (like a cold) to causing death. COVID-19 is considered a widespread outbreak and has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). While many people with the virus will experience cold-like symptoms, others (with or without pre-existing conditions) will have severe respiratory failure or death. COVID-19 is a risk to everyone.
Q: Is there medicine to treat COVID-19?
A: Although investigational drug studies are currently underway worldwide, at present there are no antiviral medications to treat or prevent COVID-19. Treatments that are currently used for patients who are diagnosed with COVID-19 are to help address symptoms such as fever or secondary bacterial pneumonia.
LVHN offers patients who are severely ill with COVID-19 the opportunity to participate in investigational therapies and treatment, including convalescent plasma blood transfusion, the selinexor clinical trial and the remdesivir clinical trial.
The best way to stay healthy is to prevent exposure to the virus by staying home.
If you have other questions concerning COVID-19 or about LVHN services, please call 888-402-LVHN (5846).