FAQs Regarding the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus and COVID-19 Disease:
- Coronaviruses are the 2nd leading cause of the common cold, after rhinoviruses, and until recent decades, they rarely caused serious health issues in humans. Coronaviruses are everywhere. Human coronavirus was cultured in the 1960s from nasal cavities of people with the common cold, reports a recent study.
- SARS-CoV-2 is a new type of coronavirus known to cause COVID-19 disease in humans. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, both of which have their origins in bats.
- The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is spread between people, often leading to community spread, which means some people have been infected and it is not known how or where they became exposed. CDC scientists reported that the rate of symptomatic infection among a patient’s household members was 10.5%. And, the rate among other 'close contacts' was found to be far less, at 0.45%. This data is more evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is predominantly spread through droplets and not as an aerosol. The CDC now knows from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. SARS-CoV-2 infectious rate is estimated the R-0 as between 1.4 to 2.5, which contrasts with the seasonal influenza is a little over 1 RO.
- The SARS-CoV-2 virus could be seasonal, similar to the annual influenza virus. For a variety of reasons, some viruses — but not all — become less transmissible as temperatures and humidity rise in the summer months. But, this coronavirus is new, so nobody knows its seasonality.
- COVID-19 is a new disease and scientists are still learning how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. COVID-19 disease is diagnosed when a patient is swabbed, then the sample is tested via reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to determine the presence of viral RNA. COVID-19 disease fatality rates range between 12% in endemic areas, such as China, to 1% in passive countries, such as South Korea. Older people and people of all ages with severe chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes, appear to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.
- People have been re-diagnosed with COVID-19 disease. Though, it’s unknown whether those people were truly reinfected or still just had low levels of the virus in their systems after they felt better.
- Pregnant women can become infected with SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and COVID-19 disease. The CDC does not know if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 nor whether they are more likely to have a serious illness as a result. It is unknown whether newborns with COVID-19 are at increased risk for severe complications. Transmission after birth via contact with infectious respiratory secretions is a concern. To reduce the risk of transmission of the virus from the mother to the newborn, facilities should consider temporarily separating (e.g., separate rooms) the mother who has confirmed COVID-19 or is a PUI, from her baby until the mother’s transmission-based precautions are discontinued, as described in the Interim Considerations for Disposition of Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19. On April 13, 2020, NEJM published a new study that found 29/210 (13.8%) of pregnant women were asymptomatic and positive.
- Children of all ages, including infants, appeared susceptible to COVID-19 disease because the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is novel, which means infants wouldn’t be able to get protective antibodies from their mothers.
- Several cardiovascular-related studies have reported COVID-19 patients presenting with or developing heart failure, cardiogenic shock, stroke and lethal arrhythmias secondary to the disease. Emerging data in patients with COVID-19 suggest a strong association of elevated troponin, N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), D-dimer, and C-reactive protein with poor outcomes.
- SARS-CoV-2 preventive vaccines are currently being developed, but have not been approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration.
- COVID-19 antiviral medications are in human clinical trials but have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
- Diagnostic tests are available throughout the world, including the USA, for both SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. The FDA added updates to its COVID-19 Diagnostics FAQ.
- MERS-CoV is a different type of coronavirus currently impacting people primarily in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which has reported a case-fatality rate exceeding 30%.
- SARS-CoV is a different type of coronavirus, that impacted people during 2003. The WHO estimates that the case fatality ratio of SARS ranges from 0% to 50% depending on the age group affected.
- Contact Tracing is an established infectious disease tactic to reduce the spreading of infectious disease during a pandemic. Various digital-contact-tracing technologies are being tested in various countries around the world.
Trusted FAQs are published by the following organizations:
- Medicaid and CHIPS
- China CDC
- Europe CDC
- FDA's COVID-19 Diagnostics Testing FAQ
- UK Nationa Health Service
- US State Department
Note: This content is sourced from the CDC, WHO, Medicaid, clinical trials.gov, research studies, leading universities, and the Precision Vax news network. This information is fact-checked by healthcare providers, such as Dr. Robert Carlson.