Coronavirus-Quarantine, Isolation and why we have to stay at home
Extreme precautions are necessary during the current isolation for Coronavirus. But why those precautions? Experts have explained the risks from a medical perspective and the measure of self-isolation.
The Coronavirus outbreak and its danger
Known to medical professionals and the entire world as COVID-19, Coronavirus is changing the world, with the death of millions of lives and destabilization of the economic and financial, and the increase of the differences between countries and people.
CFR - The rate of the death of the virus?
The acronym CFR stands for Case Fatality Rate and is related to the number of patients who died from COVID-19 divided by the total number of cases who got infected. High CFRs usually occur where access to healthcare is limited and are insufficient.
It is extremely important to get the total number as accurate as possible to make sure to manipul CFR as best.
It is assessed that COVID-19 has more fatalities in old and sick people, but it has also killed some individuals with no underlying health problems, which means that how the virus affects the body are still not understood.
R0 - The transmissibility of the virus?
The acronym of R0 stands for Reproduction Number and is related to the average number of individuals estimated to be infected by a single infected person. It has been declared that for COVID-19 every infected person will transmit the virus to 2–4 other non-infected individuals on average.
R0 is affected by the number of days a person is infectious (estimated at 4–14 days), the number of people susceptible to be in contact with the infected person and also the likelihood of those non-infected people to catch it during that contact (influenced by hand hygiene, covering the sneezes and coughs, touching the face, etc.).
COVID-19 and other infectious diseases
Coronavirus is not the most deadly or transmissible of viruses, but it is high in both categories. It has a relatively high mortality rate but it is less lethal compared to SARS and MERS, even though it is more transmittable with much higher incubation time.
Therefore, the difficulty of Coronavirus stands with the fact that infected people can pass it on to others during the incubation period when they do not have symptoms yet.
Consequently, young carriers with no or mild symptoms can bring the virus home to grandmas, grandpas, or their friends who have underlying health conditions (e.g. diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis, kidney disease). These people are at the highest risk of serious complications from COVID-19.
How long the virus survives on different surfaces
COVID-19 can survive up to 3 days on different types of materials, most of them used during daily life:
- Copper: up to 4 hours.
- Cardboard: up to 24 hours.
- Plastic: 2–3 days
- Stainless steel: 2-3 days.
Strategies to reduce R0 and CFR
Even though it is extremely hard to do, social distancing by working from home, closing schools or switching to online classes, cancelling or postponing conferences and large meetings, is essential since COVID-19 can be spread within 2 meters if somebody coughs or sneezes.
Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces is important for hygiene since COVID-19 survives for up to 3 days on different surfaces.
Handwashing more often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating has been declared one of the most important activities during this quarantine. Also, avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth before washing hands because soap and water deactivate COVID-19 by breaking down the lipid membrane of the virus.