Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

If you have the coronavirus, how long before symptoms show up?

The incubation period for a virus is the time between catching the virus and showing symptoms of the disease. For the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, health officials estimate an incubation period of between one and 14 days.Most people start showing symptoms about five days after becoming infected, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

These estimates are based on what was observed in the early days of the virus outbreak in Wuhan, China, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported. The estimates are also informed by what is known about the better-studied and related viruses MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. SARS-CoV caused an outbreak of the severe respiratory disease in 2002, and MERS-CoV emerged in 2012. 

Still, this estimate may change as more information becomes available. Some reports suggest that the incubation period may be as long as 24 days, according to a recent review paper published in the journal JAMA.

It’s not yet clear whether people infected with the new coronavirus are very contagious during the incubation period, though there have been reports of people transmitting the virus without showing symptoms. It is also unclear what proportion of people catch the virus but never develop any symptoms.

 Based on data from China, the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) suggests that asymptomatic cases are rare. On the cruise ship the Diamond Princess, however, 392 of 705 cases were reported to be asymptomatic, the CDC reported. People who are reported as asymptomatic may later go on to develop symptoms, however.

There are also reports of people testing positive for the new coronavirus for up to two weeks after their symptoms abate. In these cases, viral levels may be very low, so it is unlikely that the individuals are highly contagious. 

Coronavirus basics

The novel coronavirus, now called SARS-CoV-2, causes the disease COVID-19. The virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31, 2019. Since then, it has spread to every continent except Antarctica. The death rate appears to be higher than that of the seasonal flu, but it also varies by location as well as a person’s age, underlying health conditions, among other factors. For instance,

in Hubei Province, the epicenter of the outbreak, the death rate reached 2.9%, whereas it was just 0.4% in other provinces in China, according to a study published Feb. 18 in the China CDC Weekly.

Scientists aren’t certain where the virus originated, though they know that coronaviruses (which also include SARS and MERS) are passed between animals and humans. Research comparing the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 with a viral database suggests it originated in bats.

Since no bats were sold at the seafood market in Wuhan at the disease’s epicenter, researchers suggest an intermediate animal, possibly the pangolin (an endangered mammal) is responsible for the transmission to humans. There are currently no treatments for the disease, but labs are working on various types of treatments, including a vaccine. 


Live updates on the coronavirus

What are the symptoms?

How deadly is the new coronavirus?

How does it compare with seasonal flu?

How does the coronavirus spread?

Can people spread the coronavirus after they recover?

Originally published on Live Science. 

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Flu Season Tips for Washing Your Hands

by WeCare Marketing March 8, 2020 0 comment

Whether you use soap and water or hand sanitizers, keeping your hands germ-free can help protect you against influenza. While it’s not foolproof, the flu shot is still the best way to protect against influenza. But good personal hygiene, starting with washing your hands, is also essential to reduce your risk of getting sick or spreading germs to others.

Viruses that cause the common cold and the flu can spread easily. Personal contact like handshakes or touching contaminated surfaces such as doorknobs can cause germs to accumulate on your hands. By touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, you can infect yourself. That’s why handwashing is so important.

“Handwashing is the best way to prevent colds and other respiratory and infectious diseases that are transmitted by hand to mouth or hand to nose and eye contact,” says Samuel N. Grief, MD, an associate professor of clinical family medicine at the University of Illinois in Chicago. “Soap acts as a vehicle to trap the germs that are loosened by the act of rubbing your hands together underwater. These germs can then be rinsed away by the water.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing your hands often, for at least 20 seconds at a time. When rubbing soap on your hands, be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between the fingers, and under your nails.

Don’t worry about getting the water very hot. According to a study published in the International Journal of Consumer Studies in January 2013, most people believe using hot water is more effective than washing with warm, room temperature, or cold water. But there’s no evidence to support this. Heat does kill bacteria, but at a much higher temperature than is comfortable for washing your hands.

“There is no one best water temperature to wash one’s hands,” says Dr. Grief. “If your hands are really dirty and greasy, use of warm to hot water will do a better job of trapping dirt and grease within the soap, allowing for a more thorough cleaning.”

The type of soap also doesn’t typically matter, according to Grief, “as long as it lathers and spreads over the hands sufficiently to trap the germs.”

Hand Sanitizers: What You Need to Know

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers make a good substitute for handwashing when soap and water are not available.

According to the CDC, sanitizers with an alcohol concentration between 60 percent and 95 percent are more effective at killing germs than those with a lower alcohol concentration or non-alcohol-based sanitizers.

The right way to use a sanitizer is to apply it to the palm of one hand and rub it all over the surfaces of both hands until they’re dry. Even though alcohol-based hand sanitizers can deactivate many types of microbes when used correctly, they’re not effective if people don’t use enough sanitizer or wipe it off before it dries.

The CDC points out that soap and water are more effective than hand sanitizers at removing or inactivating certain kinds of germs like norovirus, which is the most common cause of gastroenteritis.

When Should You Wash Your Hands?

Regular handwashing is especially important at certain times. Always remember to wash up:

  • Before and after preparing or handling food
  • Before eating
  • After changing diapers
  • After using the bathroom
  • After sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose
  • After touching an animal or animal waste
  • After handling garbage
  • Before and after treating a wound
  • Before and after caring for a sick person

Additional reporting by Linda Melone.

Article By George Vernadakis

First coronavirus case confirmed in South Africa

by WeCare Marketing March 5, 2020 1 comment

JOHANNESBURG – The first case of coronavirus in South Africa has been confirmed. A 38-year-old man has tested positive for the (COVID-19) virus in KwaZulu-Natal.

The man recently travelled to Italy and has been in self-isolation since.

WATCH: MPs debate coronavirus outbreak

Over 90,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide.

More than 3,000 people have died globally, the vast majority in China.

Over 100 people in Italy have died, while over 3,000 have tested positive. 

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