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Questions and Answers: What you need to know about the corona virus

Questions and Answers : What you need to know about the corona virus

The first cases of corona virus have reached North Rhine-Westphalia. Here are some important questions and answers about the infection.

Can I get tested for the coronavirus?

Yes, but the doctor will only recommend or order a test if you belong to a risk group. This includes people who have had contact with infected people or have been in a high risk area such as Italy or Wuhan. In such a case, the health insurance company will cover the costs of the test.

Does a mouth and nose protector help?

If an acutely ill person has to move around in public places, wearing a protection mask can be useful to reduce the risk of infecting other people with droplets that are produced when coughing or sneezing. Conversely, there is not sufficient evidence that wearing a mouth/nose mask significantly reduces the risk of infection for a healthy person.

Can I get infected through imported food or objects?

No. Infection with Sars-CoV-2 via surfaces that are not in the immediate vicinity of a symptomatic patient, such as imported goods, mail or luggage, has not been documented to date. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the federal authority responsible for infectious diseases, it is therefore unlikely.

Which products are suitable for disinfection?

The RKI informs us that chemical disinfectants can be used which are as follows: “begrenzt viruzid” (limited virucidal- effective against envelope viruses), “bengrenzt viruzid Plus” (limited virucidal Plus), or “viruzid” (virucidal). A list of approved agents can be found on the institute's website. They are available in many pharmacies or on the internet.

Is one immune after an illness?

Yes. You can only be infected with the coronavirus once. Clemens Wendtner, head physician of Infectious Disease and Tropical Medicine at the Munich Schwabing Clinic, where the first corona cases in Germany were treated, confirms that neutralizing antibodies were detected in the bodies of discharged patients.

Are there enough medications in NRW?

"The pharmacies are well prepared for an outbreak of the corona virus. Usually they have a week's supply of medication in stock, antibiotics are available for more than a month," says Thomas Preis, head of the North Rhine-Westphalian Pharmacists' Association. "With corona infections, you can only relieve the symptoms anyway." The NRW Health Ministry has a similar opinion: "Infections caused by coronaviruses can only be treated symptomatically (fever reduction) as is common with viral infections. Depending on the severity of the course of the disease, these can also be quite common drugs such as aspirin, paracetamol or ibuprofen. According to current information, there are no shortages of these drugs in NRW.

Can one be vaccinated against corona?

There is still no vaccine. Researchers have been working for some time on the development of vaccines against various corona viruses, such as the Mersvirus. They are being tested in clinical trials, but are not yet available for use.

Who can order quarantine measures?

Infection protection for NRW is essentially the responsibility of the state government. However, the cities and districts are responsible for implementation on site. The respective health authorities decide on the concrete measures to be taken. The affected places are advised by the State Ministry of Health and the RKI.

(Orig. text: Matthias Beerman, Antje Höning, Philipp Jacobs,Translation: ck)