๐Ÿ˜ท 100 Questions and Answers on the Covid-19 Coronavirus

  • 100 questions about the Coronavirus
  • 100 clear and precise answers
  • Each answer is “validated” by several “recognized sources”.
  • Recognised sources are: hospital services, WHO, democratic governments, scientific or reference journals.
  • In case of doubt about an item of information, la Torpille always recommends to do its own research using WHO and hospital services statements.

Latest figures on the evolution of the disease:

Global Total
Last update on:
Cases

Deaths

Recovered

Active

Cases Today

Deaths Today

Critical

Affected Countries

Definition


What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a family of viruses. Coronaviruses can cause generally benign respiratory tract infections such as the common cold, but can also cause more serious respiratory tract infections as with the 2020 coronavirus. There are seven types of viruses in the coronavirus family. Source: cdc.gov

What is a virus?

A virus is a microscopic particle (< 0.3 ยตm) that can only replicate itself by penetrating a cell to use its machinery. If the virus causes disease, it may be called a “pathogenic germ”. Source:futura-sciences.com

ย What does the word coronavirus mean?

The word coronavirus means “crown-shaped virus”. The word was invented in 1968 by a scientist who thought the coronvirus resembled a solar corona. That is, the luminous halo that can be seen when the moon hides the sun.ย Source:wikpedia.org, times.com

A solar corona. Source:desetoilespleinlesyeux.ch
A solar corona.

What are the seven types of viruses in the coronavirus family?

Non-virulent coronaviruses:

  1. 229E (alpha coronavirus)
  2. NL63 (alpha coronavirus)
  3. OC43 (beta coronavirus)
  4. HKU1 (beta coronavirus)

Virulent coronavirus:

  1. MERS-CoV – Middle East Respiratory Syndrome – discovered in 2012, often referred to as SARS.
  2. SARS-CoV – Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome – discovered in 2003, often referred to as MERS. 80% of cases in Saudi Arabia.
  3. SARS-CoV-2 – The new coronavirus of 2020

Source: cdc.gov

What is the specific name of the 2020 coronavirus?

The successive names of the coronavirus of 2020:

  1. nCoV-2019 (New COronaVirus)
    SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

What is the name of the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus?

The name of the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 is Covid-19 (COronaVIrus Disease 2019). This name was chosen on 11 February 2020 by the WHO.ย  Source:admin.ch, santepubliquefrance.fr, sante.journaldesfemmes.fr

For the sake of simplification, the word “coronavirus” will be used in this article to name the “SARS-CoV-2” coronavirus.

Are there multiple versions of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus?

Yes, there are two main known versions of the SARS-CoV-2 virus:

  1. Type L strain (30% of cases, original version)
  2. Type S strain (70% of cases)

The differences between the strains remain minimal to speak of a different virus. The L strain would appear to be more virulent than the S strain. In addition to the main strains, there are even a very large number of minor variants of SARS-CoV-2. Source:futura-sciences.com

Why are there different versions of the coronavirus?

Every virus is constantly mutating to adapt to its host and environment. The fact that the coronavirus is a so-called RNA virus makes it more easily mutable.

What is the difference between a virus, a microbe and a bacterium?

  • Microbe (“Little life” in Latin): Generic term for microorganisms that transmit diseases. It includes various micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria, algae or fungi.
  • Virus (“Poison” in Latin): Infectious agent reduced to its strict minimum. It needs a cell to use its mechanism to reproduce. Examples of diseases caused by a virus: Influenza, Measles, Polio, Colds, AIDS, Coronavirus.
  • Bacteria: (“Stick-like organism” in Latin): Microbes consisting of a single cell surrounded by a wall and lacking a nucleus. Bacteria can grow by themselves and are the first forms of life that appeared on Earth 3 billion years ago. Example of diseases caused by bacteria: Plague, Tuberculosis, Angina.

Source: futura-sciences.com et maxisciences.com

Origin


Where did the coronavirus come from?

The coronavirus was first discovered in late 2019 in the city of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province in central China. Source:admin.ch

The Chinese province of Hubei in red on the map. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
The Chinese province of Hubei in red on the map.

What are the characteristics of Hubei Province in China?

Hubei Province in China has:

  • a population of 60 million
  • a capital (Wuhan) of 8.5 million people
  • a surface area of 185’000 kmยฒ (2x Portugal)

Source:wikipedia.org

What is the attitude of the Chinese government towards the discovery and spread of the coronavirus?

After trying to stifle the statement of some doctors about the new virus at the end of December 2019, the Chinese authorities are obliged to take measures and acknowledge the epidemic situation at the end of January 2020 after a leak about the virus on social networks. An unprecedented measure was taken on 23 January 2020 with the forced quarantine of Hubei province and its 60 million inhabitants. The central authorities rehabilitated the censured doctors and shifted the blame to the local authorities. Source:wikipedia.org

Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist in Wuhan, had warned of a new SARS-like virus as early as 30 December 2019. At the beginning of January 2020, he was accused, like 7 other people, of “spreading false information on the Internet” by the Chinese police under government orders in order to cover up his discovery. He was infected with the coronavirus in mid-January 2020 and died on 7 February at the age of 33. Source:liberation.fr et wikipedia.org
Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist in Wuhan, had warned of a new SARS-like virus as early as 30 December 2019.

Who is the World Health Organization (WHO)?

The WHO is a non-governmental organization under the United Nations. In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, its aim is to coordinate efforts to combat the disease.

Transmission


How is the coronavirus transmitted?

The coronavirus is transmitted between humans by:

  • water droplets when sneezing or coughing, the virus can reach the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth or eyes…
  • water droplets on the hands that are worn on the face to reach the nose, mouth or eyes

Source:admin.ch

Is coronavirus more contagious than other viruses?

No, coronavirus is estimated by the WHO as less contagious than most other known viruses. Source: statista.fr.

An infography on the contagiousness rate of different viruses such as coronavirus. Source statista.fr
An infography on the contagiousness rate of different viruses such as coronavirus.

Can one be contaminated during sexual relations?

No, the risk comes from saliva droplets but not from the sexual contact. Source:sida-info-service.org

Can the coronavirus be transmitted by a mosquito?

Absolutely not. Mosquitoes don’t transmit coronavirus. Source:wikipedia.org

Can coronavirus be transmitted through blood?

The transmission of coronavirus through blood is considered highly unlikely by specialists. At the moment, there is no such case. Blood transfusions are considered not to be able to transmit the virus. Source:blutspende.ch

Can the coronavirus be transmitted in water?

This is considered highly unlikely by specialists. There are no known cases of coronavirus transmission after contact with “contaminated” water. Source:pharmacie-prado-mermoz.com

Can the virus be “killed” by putting an object in the freezer?

No, freezing an object where the coronavirus is located will not “kill” it. Source;planet.fr

How to wash your clothes in the machine?

According to Gilles Pialoux of the department of infectious and tropical diseases of the Tenon hospital in Paris, clothes should be washed at 60 degrees for at least ten minutes and for the moment nothing indicates that washing at 40 degrees is enough to make the coronavirus disappear. Source:planet.fr

Can a person far away from another coughing person be contaminated?

No. From more than a meter away, the coronavirus cannot be transmitted. Source:wikipedia.org

Can one be contaminated in cold weather?

Yes, cold weather does not prevent coronavirus contamination. Source:who.int

How long does coronavirus live on a surface outside the body?

The coronavirus can keep its pathogenicity for a few hours on an inert surface. A humid and not too hot environment will help the coronavirus to live outside the body. Other studies clearly extend the out-of-body lifetime of the coronavirus to 3 days on surfaces such as steel or plastic. Source:allodocteurs.fr, journaldesfemmes.fr

Can one be contagious before the first symptoms appear?

Unlike other respiratory viruses, with coronavirus, it is possible to be contagious during the incubation phase. Source:admin.ch

Is a dead person still contagious?

Studies are insufficient for the moment but everything indicates that this is the case for a “certain period of time”. In the case of a person who has died of coronavirus, the undertakers no longer have to carry out mortuary conservation care and have to place in coffin for burial quickly. Source:journaldesfemmes.fr

How can the spread of the coronavirus be prevented?

  • Sneeze into a handkerchief and then throw it away.
  • Sneeze in the crook of the elbow if you don’t have a handkerchief.
  • Wash your hands regularly, especially after going into a public place with soap and water or a disinfectant solution.
  • Do not touch your face without having clean hands. It is estimated that a person puts their hands to their face about 60 times per hour.

Source:vd.ch et canada.ca et allodocteurs.fr

The 3 precautions to take to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. Wash your hands, sneeze into a tissue and do not touch your face. Source:bbc.com
The 3 precautions to take to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. Wash your hands, sneeze into a tissue and do not touch your face

Can a person get coronavirus from a domestic or wild animal?

Not in Europe. However, it is recommended not to touch animals in a highly contaminated area such as in China because the coronavirus is very strongly suspected to have been originally transmitted from animals to humans. Source:canada.ca

Where did the coronavirus come from?

The origin of the coronavirus has not yet been clearly determined. One hypothesis could be that the 2020 SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus comes from the bat that transmitted it to a pangolin, which in turn transmitted it to humans. Other hypotheses suggest direct transmission between the bat and humans.

With regard to two other coronaviruses close to the 2020 coronavirus, the origins seem clearer:

  • Forย  SARS (2002-2003), the virus originated from the bat, which transmitted it to the civet and then to humans.
  • For MERS (2012), the virus comes from the bat as for the other two but would have passed to the camel before infecting humans.

Source:OMS Youtube et futura-sciences.com

Why are we talking about bats?

The bat is an animal known to be a reservoir for many viruses such as coronaviruses or Ebola. A bat is a small mammal that has a very large number of species worldwide. Living at night, it is known to orientate itself in the dark by echolocation, that is to say, with the help of the emission of utra-sounds whose reflection it captures. For this reason, it is recommended to handle these animals with caution. Source:lesjours.fr and wikipedia.org

A bat. Source:franceinter.fr
A bat.

Why are we talking about pangolins?

The pangolin is suspected of being the vector of the coronavirus (i.e. the animal that transmitted the coronavirus to humans) because the genome of a virus present in this species is said to correspond to 99% of the genome of the coronavirus present in humans, although this figure is subject to controversy. The pangolin is a scaly mammal living in the forests of Africa and Southeast Asia. It is heavily hunted for its tasty meat and scales. Source:wikipedia.org and lesjours.fr and furta-sciences.com

A pangolin. Source:fr.news.yahoo.com
a pangolin.

What does “patient zero” or “index case” mean?

“Patient Zero” or “index case” is the first person infected with the pathogen that started an epidemic. It can also be a person who causes an epidemic to spread to a new geographic area. Source:wikipedia.org

What is the point of knowing “patient zero” for an epidemic?

It is useful to know the “patient zero” of an epidemic to find the source of the point of infection, the mode of diffusion and the original version of the pathogen. Source:ouest-france.fr

Who is “patient zero” for the coronavirus?

The person who is “patient zero” for the coronavirus is unknown at the moment. Suspicions are centred on a person who would have frequented the Wuhan market in China where live animals are sold and who could have been infected with the coronavirus from an animal. Source:nouvelobs.com

Infection


What cells does the coronavirus attack?

The coronavirus attacks the cells in the lungs. Source:nationalgeographic.fr

What is the function of the lung?

The lung is a two-part organ in the chest cavity. It is part of the respiratory system and its role is the exchange of gases between the air breathed and the blood flowing through the lung. Oxygen is supplied to the blood and in the opposite direction carbon dioxide (CO2) is removed. Source:wikipedia.org

How does the coronavirus attack the body?

The stages of coronavirus infection are as follows:

  1. The virus enters through the respiratory tract (as well as the eyes).
  2. The virus attaches itself to the cells in the lungs.
  3. The virus invades the lungs and causes inflammation.
  4. The immune system responds by destroying the virus.

In severe cases, the immune system overreacts or underreacts, leading to pneumonia, which can cause respiratory distress. Assistance with machines to supplement the lungs then becomes vital. Source:hug-ge.ch

What is a breathing apparatus?

A breathing apparatus is a device used to assist or replace spontaneousย breathing. It pushes air into the lung. The function of the lung is the gas exchange between the exhaled air and the blood vessels in the lungs. Oxygen is absorbed and CO2 evacuated. Source:doctissimo.fr

A person assisted by a breathing apparatus. Source:wikipedia.orf
A person assisted by a breathing apparatus.

Are there types of people who are more susceptible to being infected with coronavirus?

There is no information about this.

What is the incubation period of the coronavirus?

The incubation period for the Covid-19 virus, i.e. the time between infection and the appearance of the first symptoms, is 3 to 14 days. Source:admin.ch

The incubation period of the coronavirus compared to that of other viruses. Source:lavoixdunord.fr
The incubation period of the coronavirus compared to that of other viruses.

What is a cluster?

A cluster is a geographical location where a large number of people are affected by the virus.

Is it possible to be infected with a package from the post office?

No, because the virus “survives” only a few hours on objects. The inside of a package is therefore harmless. In an extreme case, the outside of the package can be contaminated by the postal worker. Source:admin.ch and canada.ca

Can you be contaminated by food that contains the coronavirus?

There is no known case of this. To be sure you can heat your food. Source:admin.ch

Can an animal be contaminated with coronavirus by a human?

There are no known cases of transmission of the coronavirus from a human to an animal. This phenomenon is called zoonosis.. Source:admin.ch

What are the risks for a pregnant woman in case of coronavirus contamination?

There is no increased risk for a pregnant woman compared to a woman who is not pregnant. Obviously, it is always preferable for a pregnant woman not to be contaminated by viruses or bacteria. Source:vd.ch

Can the coronavirus be transmitted to a foetus?ย 

It would appear not, but there is not enough data on this subject. However, there are many indications that this is not possible. For MERS and SARS, two coronaviruses close to the 2020 coronavirus, no transmission to the fetus has been reported. As of March 2020, some newspapers are reporting cases of possible fetal contamination in China, but there is no solid evidence to confirm these cases.ย  Source:doctissimo.fr, Source:nationalgeographic.fr

Can the coronavirus be transmitted during breastfeeding?

Normally not. There is no formal consensus on this subject. Source:doctissimo.fr

Can being seropositive worsen coronavirus symptoms?

HIV-positive people on antiretroviral therapy that works well and who have a good immune status do not need to take any special precautions. Just follow the general recommendations. Source:aids.ch

Is there a vaccine against coronavirus?

No, there is no vaccine for coronavirus unlike the seasonal flu. Source:who.int

How long will it take to develop a new coronavirus vaccine?

It is estimated that the development of a vaccine will take at least 6 months (since March 2020) not including testing and production. Source: lalsace.fr

Does the presence of several strains of coronavirus call into question the possibility of manufacturing a vaccine?

No, but it depends on the type of mutations. For the moment, these remain mild. Source:futura-sciences.com and lalsace.fr

Does the seasonal flu vaccine protect against coronavirus?

No, the vaccine that protects against seasonal flu does not protect against covid-19. Source:who.int

Medical worker giving seasonal flu vaccination with a syringe. Source:ghi.ch
Medical worker giving seasonal flu vaccination with a syringe.

Is it possible to be contaminated twice by the coronavirus?

Normally not because the body produces antibodies that are supposed to prevent further contamination. Cases of double contamination have been reported in Japan but remain very modest. This phenomenon is under investigation. Source:lci.fr

What is an epidemic?

An epidemic is a rapid increase in the number of people infected with a disease in a geographic area. Source:wikipedia.org

What is a pandemic?

A pandemic is an epidemic (see above) that affects a large geographical area, usually the whole world. L’รฉpidรฉmie causรฉe par le coromavirus est dรฉclarรฉe pandรฉmie par l’OMS dรฉbut 2020.

Pandemic and epidemic. Source:wikipedia.org
Pandemic and epidemic.

In addition to the coronavirus, is there a pandemic at the moment?

Yes, AIDS has been considered a pandemic by the WHO since 2002. AIDS has caused 25 million deaths worldwide since 1981. Source:wikipedia.org

What is the example of a few pandemics in the 21st century?

  • SARS 2002-2003 – (8098 cases for 774 deaths)
  • H1N1 Flu 2009
  • MERS 2012 – Coronavirus (2494 for 858 deaths)

Source:wikipedia.org and WHO Youtube

What is a well-known pandemic in the 20th century?

The Spanish flu is a well-known pandemic that occurred mainly in 1918. It affected a staggering 50-70% of the world’s population, causing the death of 50-100 million people. Unlike the coronavirus of 2020, it mainly caused the death of young adults.

The cause of the fact that people in the 20-40 age group suffered the most deaths could be that the young adults could not have been “immunized” by a previous nearby flu for which the older ones would have secreted antibodies. Source:wikipedia.org

Symptoms


Which people are most vulnerable to coronavirus?

The people most vulnerable to coronavirus are those over the age of about 65 years and especially those who already have a pathology such as

  • cancer (5.6%)
  • diabetes (7.3%)
  • immune deficiency
  • high blood pressure (6.0%)
  • cardiovascular disease (10.5%)
  • disease of the respiratory tract (6.3%)

In brackets, the case-fatality rate in relation to the indicated disease. Case-fatality rate (CFR) is the number of deaths in relation to the number of people infected.

Source:vd.ch and wikipedia.org

What are the symptoms of coronavirus infection?

The symptoms of coronavirus are very similar to those of seasonal flu. The three most common are as follows:

  • Fever (88% of cases)
  • cough (67%)
  • fatigue (38%)

Other less common symptoms related to coronavirus:

  • breathing difficulties
  • chilling
  • muscular pains

Source:admin.ch and wikipedia.org and futura-sciences.com

What does “breathing difficulties” mean?

Breathing difficulties (dyspnea) occur when a person experiences a difficulty in breathing in or out air. The causes can be various, such as anxiety or COVID-19 coronavirus disease. Source:wikipedia.org and harvard.edu

What are the worst symptoms of coronavirus infection?

The two worst coronavirus-related syndromes are:

  1. acute respiratory distress
  2. acute renal failure

Source:doctissimo.fr

A map summarizing the symptoms and pathologies related to the coronavirus. Source:wikimedi.org
A map summarizing the symptoms and pathologies related to the coronavirus.

What percentage of people develop a severe form of COVID-19?

Approximately 18% of people with COVID-19 have a severe form of the disease, the remaining 82% have a mild form. Source:nationalgeographic.fr

Which known diseases have symptoms similar to those of the coronavirus?

  • Bronchitis
  • Cold
  • Influenza

Can air pollution make coronavirus symptoms worse?

Yes, polluted areas have more people with respiratory system weaknesses. This makes people contaminated with coronavirus more fragile than those living in a pollution-free atmosphere. Source:wikipedia.org

What are the remedies for coronavirus?

There is no cure for coronavirus. Only medicines against the symptoms of the disease are available. Source:admin.ch

What medicine is recommended against fever?

Fever, i.e. an increase in body temperature, is a common symptom of coronavirus. 88% of infected people have this symptom. It is recommended by the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) to use paracetamol to reduce fever for both adults and children. However, the CHUV does not recommend the use of anti-inflammatory drugs. Source:chuv.ch

How is the coronavirus cured?

Recovery from coronavirus occurs when the symptoms related to the virus subside, normally from a few days to a week if there are no complication. Source:sante.figaro.fr

Is it possible to be contaminated with coronavirus and have no symptom?

Yes, some people are contaminated by the coronavirus without having any symptoms. Source:sante.figaro.fr

What does the word quarantine mean?

Quarantine is the isolation of people infected or affected by contagious diseases. Source:Wikipedia.org

Analysis


How is the test to find out if a person is infected with the coronavirus?

The test takes place in several stages:

  1. Mucus sampling using a cotton swab that is inserted into the back of the nose.
  2. Extraction and isolation of genetic material specific to the coronavirus (if present).
  3. Multi-million-fold amplification of the genome by PCR (polymerase chain reaction).
  4. Genome analysis by a machine to determine the existence or not of the coronavirus.

It is necessary to multiply the genetic material in order to be able to analyse it. The genome present in a sample is not sufficient.

Source:hug-ge.ch

Une infographie sur le mode de fonctionnement du test au coronavirus. Source:wsj.com
pcr methode coronavirus

How long does it take to do an analysis?

Approximately 4 hours are needed for the coronavirus analysis. Source:hug-ge.ch

Is the coronavirus positivity test reliable?

Yes, the test is reliable due to the fact that several probes look for the presence of different sequences of the virus in the sample to be analysed. Even if a sequence of one of the genes has mutated, the virus is recognised by one of the other sequences. Source:vd.ch

How much does a coronavirus test cost?

In France, the cost of a coronavirus test is 54 Euros. Source:topsante.com

Mode of protection


How do I try not to get infected with the coronavirus?

  • Wash your hands regularly, especially after visiting a public place with soap and water or a disinfectant solution.
  • Avoid contact with an infected person.

Source:vd.ch et canada.ca

What are the possible ways to wash your hands?

There are two ways to wash one’ s hands and make any trace of the coronavirus disappear.

  1. Soap and water
  2. Antibacterial hydroalcoholic gel

Source:santemagazine.fr

Hydroalcoholic gels. Source:jeanmarcmorandini.com
Hydroalcoholic gels.

What is the principle of hand washing with soap and water?

The action of soap and water causes microbes, including viruses and bacteria, to slip out of the hands. Source:santemagazine.fr

What is the principle of hand washing with an antibacterial hydro-alcoholic gel?

The principle of the gel is to kill germs with an antibacterial solution most often consisting of alcohol. Source:santemagazine.fr

Is it possible to make your own hydro-alcoholic gel?

Yes, the WHO provides a production guide that requires the following 3 main products that can be obtained quite easily in small quantities:

  • Ethanol
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Glycerol

WHO states that this production guide is intended for health professionals with appropriate equipment. The risk is to make a product that is irritating to the hands and ineffective. Source:santemagazine.fr

The CNN.com site reports the case in the United States of a child’s burn following the use of home-made hydro-alcoholic gels. Photo: Facebook.
The CNN.com site reports the case in the United States of a child's burn following the use of home-made hydro-alcoholic gels.

Is it useful to follow the procedures on the Internet to make one’s own hydro-alcoholic gel?

No, it is not recommended to make your own gel because for it to be effective, the gel must be made with safe products and under special conditions with procedures provided by health organizations. Source:santemagazine.fr

What is the preferred method for washing one’s hands?

Hand washing with soap and water is the solution recommended by many specialists. Some gels may contain endocrine disruptors. Gels are useful if water is not available. Source:santemagazine.fr

How long should I wash my hands?

At least 30 seconds are needed to wash your hands thoroughly with soap. Source:santemagazine.fr

How to wash one’s hands. Source:who.int
How to wash one's hands.

Which protective masks are used against the coronavirus?

  • Standard or surgical masks
  • The FFP2 masks

Source:region.ch

What is the purpose of a standard mask?

A standard or surgical mask is used by an infected patient not to transmit the coronavirus but it will not prevent a healthy person from being infected. Source:region.ch

A surgical mask. Source: msoftmed.ch
A surgical mask.

What is the lifespan of a standard mask?

The lifetime of a standard mask is only about 3 hours. It is not reusable. Source:region.ch

How to wear a surgical mask?

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  2. Check that your mask is not torn.
  3. Put the mask on the face in the right direction, with the white side against the face.
  4. Attach the fastening straps to the head
  5. Adjust the nose band.

Source:wikihow.com

How to wear a surgical mask. Source:sante.fr
How to wear a surgical mask.

What is an FFP2 mask for?

Thanks to its hermetic closure, the FFP2 mask is used both to avoid transmitting the virus but also not to receive it. Source:region.ch

A FFP2 “duck’s beak” type mask. Source:ask-distribution.com
An FFP2 "duck's beak" type mask.

What is the lifetime of an FFP2 mask?

The lifetime of an FFP2 mask is several days, it is not reusable. Source:region.ch

How do I put on an FFP2 mask?

  1. Determine the top and bottom of the mask.
  2. Attach the mask with the fastening straps.
  3. Check that the mask covers the chin.
  4. Adjust the mask by moulding it onto the nose.
  5. Test the seal.

Comment mettre un masque de type FFP2 ?

Source:femmeactuelle.fr

How much does a protective mask cost?

The cost of a mask purchased per box of 25 units is about 30 cents for a surgical mask and 50 cents for a FFP2 mask.

Is wearing several masks effective?

No, wearing several masks on top of each other does not provide additional protection and wastes the resource. Source: who.int

Is it helpful to take antibiotics to protect against coronavirus?

No, SARS-CoV-2 is a virus that is insensitive to any antibiotic. Source: who.int

Can smoking protect against coronavirus?

No, smoking does not prevent coronavirus infection. Source: who.int

Can saline solutions in the nose prevent infection?

No, there are no studies to support this hypothesis. Source: who.int

Can hand dryers kill coronavirus?

No, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).ย  Source:who.int

Is the coronavirus harmless above a certain temperature?

There are no established figures for this. For the influenza virus, which is also a respiratory virus, transmission is favoured by cold temperatures. There is no evidence so far that the behaviour is the same for the coronavirus. A study by the head of department of a Parisian hospital seems to show that the virus would become ineffective when exposed to a temperature of 56 degrees for 30 minutes or 65 degrees for 10 minutes. Source:liberation.fr and sciencesetavenir.fr

What is the ideal mode of protection against coronavirus?

The ideal mode of protection against coronavirus is port:

  • Closed glasses
  • an FFP2 mask
  • gloves (not to be worn on the face)

This mode of protection is the one used by hospital staff in contact with the virus.

Medical workers putting on their coronavirus protective clothing with mask, goggles and gloves. Source:dallasnews.com
Medical workers putting on their coronavirus protective clothing with mask, goggles and gloves.

Is it possible to make your own protective mask?

No, it is not recommended to make your own protective mask.

However, in view of the shortage of masks, the CHU (University Hospital Center) of Grenoble provides a procedure for the manufacture of its own mask washable every day at 30 degrees. This mask is not intended for medical staff in direct contact with patients. The following 3 elements are necessary for the manufacture of the mask:

  1. Cotton scraps
  2. Fine fleece
  3. Flexible elastics

The mask consists of 2 layers of cotton with a layer of fleece in the middle. Source:cnews.fr

The manufacture of this kind of artisanal mask is obviously not recommended. Source:shine.ch
A person with a handmade mask in China

Why don’t the European authorities recommend that masks be worn?

According to some health professionals, even if half of the population wore a mask, it would have little effect on the spread of the disease. La Torpille has not found any links to studies that would support these claims, so they cannot be taken into account. Source:allodocteurs.fr

The non-recommendation of the wearing of masks by the various European governments for the public certainly also comes from a lack of stock of masks (WHO) and a desire not to panic the population unaccustomed to this type of practice. A lack of usefulness of the generalised use of masks can come from its erroneous use making it falsely effective.

However, it is false to say that masks are useless. Provided that they are used correctly and changed regularly:

  • An FFP2 mask provides effective protection against coronavirus.
  • A surgical mask does not provide full protection against the virus because it is not hermetically sealed. However, the likelihood of infection with this type of mask is logically much lower than if a person did not wear one at all.

Two people wearing masks. On the left an FFP2 mask. On the right, a surgical type mask. Source: news.yahoo.fr
Two people wearing masks. On the left an FFP2 mask. On the right, a surgical type mask.

A study shows that “all masks including those made of cotton T-Shirt significantly limit the number of microorganisms inhaled and are preferable to no protection, even if surgical masks are three times more effective”. Home-made masks should be made as a last resort. Source:researchgate.net

A table showing the filtration rate of several materials to one bacterium (B atrophaeus) and one virus (Bacteriophage MS2). Source:researchgate.net
A table showing the filtration rate of several materials to one bacterium (B atrophaeus) and one virus (Bacteriophage MS2).

A photo from the New York Times in China showing the wearing of mask for the local population. An unusual practice in the Western world even with the coronavirus pandemic. Source.nytimes.com
A photo from the New York Times in China showing the wearing of mask for the local population. An unusual practice in the Western world even with the coronavirus pandemic.

What’s a “cordon sanitaire”?

A “cordon sanitaire” is a space that allows you to check access to an area affected by an epidemic. It was first used in 1821 by France to protect itself from an epidemic in Spain. Source:wikipedia.org and times.com

What does the word quarantine mean?

Quarantine is the isolation of people suspected or affected by contagious diseases. Source:Wikipedia.org

Is it useful to quarantine a population in an infectious outbreak?

Yes, the aim is to limit the spread of the virus but also, and perhaps above all, to avoid a peak of contamination that would cause the number of cases to explode in a short period of time and prevent the treatment of all people with severe forms of VIDOC-19 disease (18% of those infected). A quarantine will thus make it possible to smooth out the peaks of contamination. Source:rts.ch

Faced with the development of the coronavirus, the English government proposes, as a first step, to let the virus spread in the hope that it will infect enough people for the country to build up a “collective immunity”. It then backtracked and took measures to combat the spread of the virus. Source:bfmtv.com

Pandemic control measures such as quarantine can help flatten the infection curve, allowing the health care system to take much better care of the sick in need. Source:cdc.org.
Pandemic control measures such as quarantine can help flatten the infection curve, allowing the health care system to take much better care of the sick in need.

Mortality


Mortality, what does that mean?

Mortality is the number of people dead from a certain pathogen relative to the total number of people in a population. Source:opb.org and reporterre.net

About the coronavirus: for a population of 7.7 billion people and 4’000 dead. The global mortality rate can be calculated at 0.00005% in mid-March 2020 and as the pandemic is not over, it will increase over time. By way of comparison, the global mortality rate of the Spanish flu of 1918 is 3%. This is probably the highest mortality rate that has ever existed.

Case Fataliy Rate (CFR), what does that mean?

The case-facility rate (CFR) is the number of people who died from a certain pathogen in relation to the total number of people who were contaminated by that same cause. Source:opb.org and reporterre.net

About the coronavirus: 150,000 people have been infected worldwide and 4,000 have died from it. The global case-fatality rate can be calculated at 2.6% in mid-March 2020.

The term “mortality” should not be confused with CFR.

Morbidity, what does that mean?

Morbidity is the rate of people affected by a pathogen compared to a total healthy population. Source:reporterre.net

About the coronavirus: 150,000 people are affected out of a world population of 7.7 billion. The global morbidity rate is 0.0019% in mid-March 2020 and as the pandemic is not over, it will increase over time. By way of comparison, the global morbidity rate of the Spanish flu of 1918 is 50-70%. This is probably the highest morbidity rate that has ever existed.

Can one die from coronavirus?

Yes, one can die from severe coronavirus-related symptoms.

What is the case-facility rate of coronavirus?

The case-facility rate (CFR) of coronavirus is between 1 and 3%. In comparison, the mortality rate of SARS, which is close to the coronavirus, is 9.6%.

Coronavirus CFR as a function of age:

  • Under 10 years of age: 0%.
  • 10 to 39 years old: 0.2%. (1 in 500 people dies)
  • 40 to 49 years old: 0.4.ย  (1/250)
  • 50 to 59 years old: 1.3 %. (1/77)
  • 60 to 69 years old: 3.6 %. (1/28)
  • 70 to 79 years old: 8 %. (1/13)
  • Over 80 years old: 14.8. (1/7)

A graph showing the coronavirus case-facility rate by age group. Source: businessinsider.com
A graph showing the coronavirus case-facility rate by age group.

It should be noted that benign or asymptomatic forms of coronavirus-related disease are not included in the statistics. It is therefore very likely that the case-facility rate reported in the press is overestimated. Source: letemps.ch and santepubliquefrance.fr

Is the case-facility rate of the coronavirus higher than that of seasonal influenza?

Yes, the case-facility rate for seasonal influenza is 0.1% compared to around 1 to 3% for the coronavirus. letemps.ch

What is the case-facility rate of coronavirus compared to other known viruses?

The case-facility rate of the coronavirus is between 1 and 3%. In comparison, the mortality rate of SARS, which is close to the coronavirus, is 9.6%. The official case-facility rate can even rise to almost 40% for the Ebola virus. Source:leparisien.fr

An infography on the mortality rate of different viruses. Source:leparisien.fr
An infography on the mortality rate of different viruses.

Is case-facility rate important for infants or children under 10 years of age?

No, surprisingly there are no known cases of death of children under 10 years old due to coronavirus. letemps.ch

Why is there no death in infants usually among the most fragile?

For the moment, there is no clear explanation for the fact that there is no mortality from coronavirus in children under 10 years of age.

Is case-facility rate different between the sexes?

Yes, case-facility rate is significantly higher in males. The reason could be that there are more smokers in men than in women. Smokers are more at risk because of the weakness of some of their organs. In addition, for certain diseases, women are less vulnerable than men in terms of severe complications such as hepatitis. letemps.ch and allodocteurs.fr

Is the case-facility rate different in different countries?

Yes, the case-facility rate of the coronavirus differs between countries. It depends on how the coronavirus is managed. In cases where health services have been overwhelmed as in China or Italy, the lethality has exceeded 4%. Conversely, in the case of South Korea, where numerous screening tests were carried out combined with an excellent health service to accompany the sick, the case-fatality rate remained at a particularly low level of 0.5%. Source.europe1.fr

Can the coronavirus contamination statistics be trusted?

The figures of contaminations and deaths per country every day are certainly not completely false but must be taken with certain precautions such as:

  • The fact that the figures are communicated by the various governments of the world, some of which are among the most affected, such as Iran and especially China, are not known for their respect of human rights and in particular freedom of expression. The figures can be subject to manipulation.
  • Many people will not know that they have contracted the disease because of the weakness or absence of symptoms. This will result in an underestimation of the number of patients and therefore a higher case fatality rate than in reality.
  • In outbreaks of infection such as in Italy, only people at risk, such as the elderly or people with weaknesses, are tested to find out if they are infected with the coronavirus. This fact obviously underestimates the number of people infected and means that the lethality rate reported in the press is higher than in reality.

How many people have died from coronavirus?

In mid-March 2020, 170,000 people were contaminated by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus worldwide (mainly in China), resulting in more than 7,000 deaths. By way of comparison, seasonal influenza causes 60’000 deaths each year in Europe alone. Source:tribune.fr

Other


Can the information given here change?

Yes, given the short time that has elapsed since the onset of the disease, many studies are underway and will certainly change the current data with respect to the coronavirus. However, the current methods of protection announced by the various governments and the WHO remain perfectly valid. These include, for example, regular hand cleaning, limiting social contact, etc…

How do I know if a news item is true or not on the Internet?

Many people throw “news” on social networks by only reading the headline to attract attention. La Torpille, in the case of coronavirus, recommends the following actions:

  • Check several different Internet sources
  • Use well-known sources

What are well-known sources on the Internet?

According to la Torpille, the sources that can be trusted on the Internet are:

  • WHO (World Health Organization).
  • Recommendations of democratic governments (France, Switzerland, etc…)
  • Hospital services (CHUV, etc…)
  • Scientific journals (Lancet, etc…)
  • Wikipedia

The opinions of people in Facebook groups or in any chat room should not be taken into account.

How can I contact you?

Use our contact form if you want to report something.

Which Emojis can be used for Coronavirus?

  • ๐Ÿฆ  Coronavirus
  • ๐Ÿ‘‘๐Ÿฆ  Coronavirus (the crown for “corona”)

Hand cleaning

  • ๐Ÿงผ Soap
  • ๐Ÿ– Hands
  • ๐Ÿงด Hydro-alcoholic gel
  • ๐Ÿงด๐Ÿ– Hand cleaning with hydro-alcoholic gel
  • ๐Ÿงผ๐Ÿ– Hand washing with soap

Transmission

  • ๐Ÿ’ฆ Water droplets

Cautionary advice

  • ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿฆ  Action to stop the spread of the virus
  • ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿคฆ Do not touch your face.
  • ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿคง๐Ÿคฒ Don’t sneeze into your hands.
  • โœ…๐Ÿคง๐Ÿ’ช Sneeze into the inside of the elbow
  • ๐Ÿงผ๐Ÿ–โฒ2๏ธ๏ธโƒฃ Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds
  • ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿค No handshake
  • ๐Ÿšซ2๏ธโƒฃ0๏ธโƒฃ๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿค๐Ÿง‘ No gatherings of more than 20 people
  • ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿค๐Ÿง‘ No contact too close together
  • ๐Ÿงโ†”๏ธ๐Ÿง Keeping distance between two people
  • ๐Ÿง๐Ÿ  Staying at home
  • ๐Ÿ‘ท๐Ÿ  Working at home
  • ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Try not to panic.

Emojis in the medical field.

  • ๐Ÿ˜ท Person with a mask
  • ๐Ÿง‘โš• Medical staff
  • ๐Ÿฅ Hospital
  • ๐Ÿš‘ Ambulance
  • ๐Ÿ’Š Drug
  • โšฐ๏ธ Casket