Ever since Covid-19 hogged global headlines, the world has been talking about ‘quarantine’. Where does this word come from?
The word ‘quarantine’ is derived from the Italian word ‘Quaranta Giorni’ meaning 40. Its history dates back to the 14th century CE when the Bubonic Plague was at its peak in Europe and ships arriving in Venice from infected ports were required to anchor themselves for 40 days before entering the city to protect its residents. This practice came to be known as quarantine taking its roots from the Italian words Quaranta Giorni.
The WHO has officially named the disease caused by the novel coronavirus as Covid-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019). What was it called earlier?
Covid-19 was earlier referred to as 2019-nCoV (short for 2019-novel coronavirus). The WHO named this viral infection as Covid-19 on February 11, 2020. The virus that causes this disease has been named as SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2).
Do cigarette smokers face any additional risk of contracting Corona?
Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to Covid-19 because smoking means the person’s fingers are in contact with lips, which increases the possibility of transmission of the virus from hand to mouth. Smokers may also already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity, which would greatly increase the risk of serious illness if they contract Corona.
Everyone has been talking about social distancing as a method to prevent the spread of Covid-19. What distance should I maintain from others?
You can contract Covid-19 if you accidentally breathe in respiratory droplets from an infected person who coughs out, sneezes or exhales droplets. It is thus important that you maintain a distance of more than 1 meter (3 feet) from people when outdoors, especially from someone who is sick or is a suspected Covid-19 case.
I am exposed to a lot of sunlight and live in a hot country. Am I safe from Corona?
No. You can catch Corona irrespective of how sunny and hot the weather is.
You can contract Coronavirus irrespective of how sunny or hot the weather outside is. Countries with hot weather have reported high number of Covid-19.
In India, cases rose rapidly throughout the summer when temperatures were soaring. To protect yourself, ensure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly, and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
Some people say they are in ‘self-quarantine’ while others say they are in ‘self-isolation’. Don’t they mean the same?
No, ‘self-quarantine’ and ‘self-isolation’ are different levels of intervention.
Quarantine is an intervention in which people who are themselves not ill but are suspected to have been exposed to Covid-19, are separated from others by restricting their activities.
Isolation, on the other hand, means separating people who are ill and have symptoms of Covid-19. They are separated to prevent them from spreading the disease.
Experts say Covid-19 primarily spreads via water droplets coming out from an infected person’s mouth. But how long can the virus survive on solid surfaces?
According to the WHO, studies have found that the Coronavirus can survive up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, less than 24 hours on cardboard and less than 4 hours on copper. WHO recommends regularly cleaning surfaces with common household disinfectants.
Can I use antibiotics to fight Covid-19?
No. Antibiotics work only against bacterial infections and do not work against viruses. Covid-19 is viral infection hence antibiotics won’t help.
I suffered a mosquito bite, am I likely to contract Corona because of it?
No. Mosquitoes aren’t known to transmit Covid-19.
According to the WHO, there is no information nor evidence to suggest Corona virus could be transmitted by mosquitoes. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus that spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.