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Coronavirus Resources

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For updated information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, see the official web page for your government's health agency:

United States - CDC Coronavirus information page

Australia - Department of Health Coronavirus health alert

Canada - Health Canada Coronavirus disease page

United Kingdom - NHS Coronavirus overview

Other countries - WHO Coronavirus disease outbreak

This is not a medical website; you should not take medical advice from this or any other unofficial source. Use the resources above.

Here are some basic definitions:

COVID-19: The name of the influenza-like disease currently causing the worldwide crisis. It stands for Coronavirus disease 2019. This is the name of the disease, not of the virus that causes it. More

SARS-CoV-2: This is the name of the actual virus that causes COVID-19. It stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. This is the name of the virus, not of the disease it causes. More

Coronavirus: A group of related viruses that cause cold- or flu-like diseases, including SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. We have tended to use the term Coronavirus informally to refer to the current breakout of COVID-19. More

Facts and Fiction

Should I wear a mask to protect against COVID-19?
Wearing a mask will not protect healthy people from catching the disease. However, even if you feel healthy, it's possible that you are an asymptomatic carrier, and coughing or sneezing in public could infect other people. Wearing a mask helps contain potentially infected aerosols from your own coughs and sneezes, providing some measure of protection to healthy people around you. This is the reason some governments and health authorities are beginning to change the recommendation for people to wear masks in public.

What about this antimalarial drug Hydroxychloroquine?
The relatively inexpensive and abundant antimalarial has been effective at inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 in the lab, but so far no benefit has been observed in human trials. Other trials continue. More

Are people who recover immune?
Yes, but we don't yet know how long that immunity will last. Immunity to various other coronaviruses last from 1 to 10 years. Immune people cannot spread COVID-19 to others, except through contact by handling infected objects. Testing is underway using antibody-rich serum from recovered patients as a treatment for very ill patients.

How long does the virus last on surfaces?
Best info so far is that it lasts up to 3 hours in aerosols (floating around in the air), and up to 3 days on some surfaces (a few hours on others). More

If I have COVID-19, should I avoid ibuprofen?
No, you should be OK taking ibuprofen. There was an earlier recommendation against this, but health authorities have since found there's no evidence to support such a recommendation. More

Is Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) an engineered bioweapon?
No, and this is proven. We have its genome sequenced. We know its evolutionary history from other older coronaviruses, and it is missing the telltale genetic markers that would be present had any genetic engineering been done on it. This is confirmed by every major world health authority. More

Can I catch COVID-19 from my pet?
Our best information is that pets and humans cannot transmit the virus to one another; nevertheless, it is recommended that people with active infections avoid handling their pets out of an abundance of caution.

Is COVID-19 less deadly and worrisome than the flu?
COVID-19 is currently less common than influenza, but it is on an extreme growth curve and will likely surpass influenza, and surpass it by a wide margin. COVID-19 is more transmissible than the flu, and has a higher death rate than the flu. We don't have exact figures for how much more, but more data is coming in every day.

Will we really get a vaccine soon?
No, it won't be soon, but its development has been accelerated. Human trials of early safety tests are underway, the results of which will take months to get. Best case scenario for a vaccine looks like about one year. More


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