What is Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)?

The new coronavirus is a previously unidentified coronavirus. The virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not the same as coronaviruses that circulate widely among humans and cause mild illness such as the common cold. There are many human coronaviruses that usually cause mild upper respiratory illness. COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). This new virus and disease was unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China in December 2019.

What is the Source of the Virus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses common in many different animal species, including humans, camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect humans and then spread among humans, such as MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now this new virus (called SARS-CoV-2). SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. Sequence studies show that this virus emerged recently from a possible single animal reservoir.

Initially, many of the patients at the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, China’s Hubei Province, had a connection to a large seafood and livestock market, suggesting animal-to-human spread. Later, an increasing number of patients were not exposed to animal markets, meaning it spread from person to person. The first COVID-19 case in our country was detected on March 11, 2020.

How is the disease transmitted?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with each other (within about 1-2 m). In addition, droplets released by sick individuals through coughing and sneezing are transmitted by contacting and contacting the mouth, nose or eye mucosa after contact with other people’s hands.

Can the virus that causes COVID-19 be transmitted through the air?

Studies to date show that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than air.

Can COVID-19 be caught from a person with no symptoms?

The main route of the disease is respiratory droplets expelled by someone coughing. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone who has no symptoms is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is especially true in the early stages of the disease. Therefore, it is possible to get COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, a mild cough and does not feel sick. When the epidemiological characteristics of the cases in China were examined, it was observed that the average incubation period was 5-6 days (2-14 days), and it could be extended up to 14 days in some cases. The contagious period of COVID-19 is not known with certainty. It is thought to begin 1-2 days before the symptomatic period and end with the disappearance of symptoms.

Can you get COVID-19 from the stool of someone with the disease?

The risk of catching COVID-19 from an infected person’s stool appears to be low. Spread through this route is not the main feature of the epidemic, although initial research suggests that in some cases the virus may be present in feces.

Is COVID-19 transmitted through blood?

Overall, respiratory viruses are not known to be transmitted by blood or transfusion, and no cases of transfusion-transmitted coronavirus have been reported.

Can I catch COVID-19 from my pet?

Although there is a sample of an infected dog in Hong Kong, to date there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19. COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. To protect yourself, clean your hands often and thoroughly.

How long does the virus survive on surfaces?

It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it behaves like other coronaviruses. Studies show that coronaviruses can persist on surfaces for several hours or up to several days. This may change under different conditions (eg surface type, ambient temperature or humidity). When interpreting the duration of activity on inanimate surfaces, it should not be forgotten that not only the continuation of the virus activity, but also the duration of contact is important.

If you think a surface may be contaminated, clean it with a simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose.

Is COVID-19 airborne?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets formed when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. These droplets are too heavy to stay suspended in air. Quickly drops onto the floor or surfaces .

You can become infected by breathing in the virus if you are within 1 meter of someone with COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and touching your eyes, nose, or mouth before washing your hands.

Can it be contaminated with food?

Based on the information on this novel coronavirus so far, it seems unlikely that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food – additional research is needed.

Who is at risk of developing serious illness?

COVID-2019 elderly patients with high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes seem to develop a serious illness more often:

people aged 65 and over

People with serious heart diseases (heart failure, rheumatic valve diseases, cyanotic congenital heart diseases, right ventricular dysplasia, Brugada syndrome, myocarditis..)

People living in a nursing home or long-term care facility

People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, especially if not well controlled.

People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma

People who are immunocompromised (Many conditions can cause a person to become immunocompromised, including treatment for cancer, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplants, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and long-term use of corticosteroids and other immunosuppressive drugs.)

People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥40)

people with diabetes

People with chronic kidney disease who are on dialysis

people with liver disease

Persons who are pregnant should be monitored as they are known to be at risk for serious viral illness, but data on COVID-19 to date have not shown an increased risk

Are smokers at greater risk of getting the disease and getting it more severely?

In Chinese publications, “It was determined that the risk of developing pneumonia due to COVID-19 in smokers who caught COVID-19 was 15 times higher. It is known that the use of cigarettes, hookahs and e-cigarettes causes infection in the lungs and suppresses the immune system to some extent. real. Smoking makes it difficult for the hair-like mechanism in the respiratory tract, called cilia, to work.These cilia cover the entire respiratory tract and work in the opposite direction of the respiratory tract, allowing particles that enter the body with the air, are held by mucus and are expelled through sputum, to move towards the mouth and nose. Smoking puts an extra load on these cilia, making it difficult for them to work, which makes it difficult to clean the airways and lungs.

During respiratory infection in the lungs of cigarettes and e-cigarettes, they also damage the structure of white blood cells called “neutrophils”, which are responsible for clearing the infection, and intubated patients become more prone to hospital infections. This is thought to be caused by cigarette and e-cigarette smoke blocking the functioning of white blood cells called neutrophils. Suppressing the work of these immune cells working in the respiratory tract can also facilitate the development of many respiratory diseases, especially COVID-19.
Harvard University Immunology Specialist Prof. Dr. Derya Forgetz said, “80-85% of the coronavirus deaths in China and America are smokers and 90% of the recovered patients are non-smokers… The damage of the corona virus in smokers is 15 times more than in a normal person.
It will be very beneficial if you quit smoking today, even now. Urgent smokers need to quit smoking. Otherwise, intensive care and other treatments do not have much effect on these people.

As it is known, the virus called SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19 disease and is known as “Corona virus” among the people, is most easily active by clinging to a protein called ACE2 in the body. According to studies, this suppression revealed that the gene encoding the ACE2 protein, which the Corona virus uses to infect cells, is more active in smokers than in non-smokers. Of course, none of these studies can accurately predict the extent to which smoking will affect the current epidemic. However, given that cigarettes and e-cigarettes cause serious damage to the immune system, it would not be wrong to assume that they can make Corona virus infections worse. It is well known that cigarettes and e-cigarettes cause damage to the respiratory tract and lungs. Therefore, while quitting smoking and e-cigarette use is always a very important move, it is of much greater importance especially during the Covid-19 global epidemic that swept the whole world.

In addition, it is nothing more than gossip that the blood pressure drugs we call ACE inhibitor and ARB shared in social media and groups are harmful. There is absolutely no scientific evidence, and none of our patients should give up on a treatment that has proven well-established benefits, otherwise blood pressure may rise and heart failure may increase, and conditions requiring intensive care may increase paralysis and heart attacks.

Does rinsing the nose with saline help prevent infection with the new coronavirus? 

There is no evidence that rinsing the nose with saline protects people against infection with the new coronavirus.

What kinds of findings occur?

Current symptoms reported for COVID-19 patients include mild respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but do not develop any symptoms and feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without the need for special treatment. About 1 in 6 people who get COVID-19 become seriously ill and have difficulty breathing.

What should be done if there are symptoms?

If you are coughing, have a fever and have difficulty breathing, apply to the nearest health institution by wearing a surgical mask. Always wear your mask when you are in the same room with a person for whom home isolation is recommended. Alo 184 hotline of the Ministry of Health helps in guiding. If you have come from one of the countries with infection in the last 14 days, apply to the nearest health institution by wearing a surgical mask.

How is the definitive diagnosis of Covid19 disease made?

In patients who apply with typical complaints (high fever, deep dry cough, difficulty breathing), if blood and chest X-ray or tomography findings suggest Covid19 disease, the PCR test from the throat swab works. Patients are given treatment until the test comes back negative.

I have no complaints, should I get tested for peace of mind?

First of all, the majority of the patients who test positive are those with clinical findings such as dry cough and fever. In addition, the margin of error of the existing tests is still very high. It was seen that one third of the patients who applied with flu-like symptoms in the USA and whose test was negative, then applied to the emergency room again with higher fever and cough, their tests were positive for the second time. It was claimed that these people were the factor in the spread of the disease. After this situation, which was considered as a test fiasco, Abbot company obtained the approval of the FDA and on April 1, the genome of the virus was found in 5-13 minutes. has released a new test that shows it with near-total accuracy. The test is currently only used in the United States.

Is lung tomography safer than the test in diagnosis?

Publications showed typical findings on lung tomography at the negative stage of the test. For this reason, the use of tomography as a diagnostic tool in suspicious cases has been added to the algorithms. However, this is caused by the false negative results of current tests.

Will the radiation I receive during the tomography be a problem?

Currently, it is possible to take lung tomography with a new generation tomography devices with a one-fifth low radiation exposure. Care should be taken to use state-of-the-art devices for all patients. Because receiving high-dose radiation from tomography taken repeatedly may open the door to other diseases in the future.

Why should I wear a mask?

Because the virus is very insidious and contagious. The high error rate of current tests and the fact that 80% of infected people recover from the disease without serious complaints cause these individuals to infect many people unknowingly. If everyone wears masks, the rate of spread of the virus will decrease. It is thought that even a homemade mask will reduce the number of mouth droplets and reduce the spread of the virus. It should not be forgotten that there is a worldwide shortage of masks, so WHO urges people to use masks wisely. WHO recommends the rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary waste of valuable resources and misuse of masks.

What does keeping a three-step physical distance do for me?

Maintaining physical distance will reduce the rate of spread of infection by 95%. The high error rate of the current tests caused too many patients to be infected and apply to hospitals at the same time in countries such as Italy and Spain, where physical distancing was not maintained, and the health system collapsed. Since many people could not find a place in hospitals in Italy, they lost their lives due to heart attacks, strokes, traffic accidents and similar emergencies. For this reason, it is very important that we maintain physical distance, even if we wear masks in every environment.

Is there a definitive treatment for the disease?

Since this virus, which has a much higher rate of transmission than many known diseases, emerged five months ago, there is no proven highly successful treatment yet. Drugs that have been shown to be effective in other diseases are in the trial phase. A large number of studies, the results of which we will see in the next month or two in the USA, started with the approval of the FDA. The results of the preliminary study with the same drugs before this study are promising.

How long is the epidemic expected to last?

This disease is not something the modern world has experienced before. Although it is thought that it may take between 6 weeks and 3 months to control the disease after it has spread to all cities, there is no clear opinion.

How will the world recover from Covid 19 disease?

We think that the virus will affect our lives for about a year. You ask why? because, after the whole world (at least 50 percent) has recovered from the disease or has not been immunized with the vaccine, the virus may enter through tourists or immigrants and cause problems again. When schools open or factories and offices start working, the virus will return when we return to our old routine habits. For this reason, we will have to continue to follow the physical distance rules for a long time. Otherwise, we may have to apply quarantine again and again. This is the truth underlying the saying “nothing will ever be the same”.

We also expect the virus to make smaller outbreaks every few years, just like seasonal flu. In other words, in the future, it may remain as a disease that we catch in the winter months, like seasonal flu.

When will we have the vaccine?

It is necessary to demonstrate that the vaccine is safe in animal and human experiments to see possible side effects. In addition, even if the effectiveness of the vaccine is demonstrated, it will take a serious time to produce millions of vaccines.

French scientists are trying to modify the measles vaccine using parts of the new coronavirus and try to solve the problem, if this is successful, it will be able to produce a vaccine quickly, as many laboratories in the world can produce the measles vaccine. In the USA, a new method of developing a vaccine that is successful in animals is being studied using the RNA of the coronavirus with a method that has never been tried before. Whichever of these strategies is successful, it is thought that it will take 12-18 months for the new vaccine to reach humans.

Also, just like seasonal flu vaccines, as the virus changes, it will be necessary to update the vaccine and re-inject it at regular intervals.

Can the virus disappear with the warming of the weather and humidity?

Studies with coronaviruses have shown that the virus cannot survive in the external environment above 38 degrees and 95% humidity. However, this will not prevent transmission through droplets. When the weather warms up, we will need to continue to maintain physical distance.

How long does immunity last after recovery?

When previous coronavirus patients were evaluated, it was shown that they remained immune to the disease for up to 1 year. We think this period will be longer for the new corona virus. However, tests that measure the level of antibodies in the blood with high accuracy are required.

What should be done to be protected? 

Recommendations to reduce the risk of transmission of acute respiratory infections also apply to the new coronavirus infection. While coughing or sneezing, the mouth and nose should be covered with a disposable tissue, if there is no tissue, the inside of the elbow should be used. Avoid crowded places as much as possible. Shaking hands and hugging should be avoided. Mouth, nose and eyes should not be touched with dirty hands. Hand hygiene should be given importance. Hands should be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and alcohol-containing hand antiseptics should be used in the absence of soap and water. Indoor areas, especially classrooms and workplaces, should be ventilated frequently. To strengthen the immune system, a balanced and healthy diet should be consumed. Food should be washed thoroughly before consumption.

I have recently recovered from COVID-19, can I donate recovery (immune) plasma?

COVID-19 recovery plasma should only be taken from people who have recovered if they qualify for blood donation. Individuals must have a previous diagnosis of COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test and met other laboratory criteria. Individuals must have fully recovered from COVID-19 with complete resolution of symptoms for at least 14 days before recovery plasma is donated.

Is there a risk in the funeral of people who have died from COVID 19?

There are currently no known risks associated with being in a funeral or visiting service in the same room as the body of someone who has died of COVID-19. However, the crowd at the funeral ceremony is a risk for spreading.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *