While the WHO has called Coronavirus a pandemic, sparking fear and panic everywhere, they have also called it an Infodemic. This means that there is so much information about it out there it becomes difficult to identify and verify them and separate truth from rumours.
We know that misinformation on the internet and the rapidly changing guidance from government agencies, the media, and medical professionals can lead to tons of confusion and stress. So here we are with Part 2 of the Common Questions and Confusion on Coronavirus.
No, it is not. COVID-19 is not an airborne virus. This means that the virus does not remain in the air for a long time. Yes, the virus is highly contagious, but it is still much less transmissible than airborne viruses.
For people who are healthy, the virus will feel as if it is a common cold or flu. A lot of people who get sick will recover from COVID-19. Recovery time varies and for most people may be similar to the aftermath of a flu-like illness. People with mild symptoms may recover within a few days. People who have pneumonia like symptoms may take longer to recover (days to weeks).
It is important to remember that the mortality rates you are seeing reported in the press may not be accurate, as most people with COVID-19 might have milder respiratory symptoms and have not been tested. Current data would imply that we will see the number of confirmed cases go up, but mortality rates drop. As testing has become more available, we have seen an increased number of COVID-19 positive people with mild to moderate symptoms make full recoveries, therefore, lowering the mortality rate among confirmed cases. For example, in South Korea, where they have aggressively tested for more mild cases, the death rate is closer to 0.5%.
The virus is very fragile outside the human body, with poor survivability on surfaces, which means you can't get it from packages, envelopes or imported goods. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.
There have been no reported cases of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States, and there is no evidence that companion animals can spread COVID-19.
Additionally, the CDC does not have any evidence to suggest that animals or animal products imported from China pose a risk for spreading COVID-19 in the United States.
Fact: At this time, test kit availability and lab testing capacity are still limited in the U.S. With this in mind, many healthcare providers and laboratory facilities across the nation, are focused on being good stewards of public health by working together to judiciously test only those who have a high-risk of becoming severely ill, or at high-risk of transmission to others. Most people should not be tested since positive tests for COVID-19 do not impact the course of care in nearly all situations. Testing simply informs transmission mitigation measures, such as self-quarantine. So, for most people who are experiencing mild to moderate cold or flu-like symptoms, testing is not recommended, but self-quarantine is the most important thing they can do to help communities stop the spread of COVID-19.