FAQ Regarding the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus and the Disease it causes, COVID-19:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- People have been re-diagnosed with COVID-19. 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.
- 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 antibodies from their mothers.
- SARS-CoV-2 preventive vaccines are currently being developed, but have not been approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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%.
Additional FAQs are published by the following trusted organizations:
Note: This content is sourced from the CDC, WHO, clinical trials.gov, research studies, and leading universities. This information is fact-checked by healthcare providers, such as Dr. Robert Carlson.