Coronavirus: how can you get COVID-19 and how you can't get it?

More than 15,000 dead, more than a quarter of a million infected and counting...

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is spreading at a dizzying rate throughout the world, including Latin America.

All countries in the region have already reported cases of covid-19, pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus that the World Health Organization describes as a pandemic.  And the majority already report examples of local transmission, which explains why in some the number of people infected with the coronavirus doubles every two days.
Coronavirus: how can you get it and how can not you
All countries in the region have already reported cases of covid-19, pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus that the World Health Organization describes as a pandemic.
And the majority already report examples of local transmission, which explains why in some the number of people infected with the coronavirus doubles every two days.

 But how is covid-19 spread? And as?

The first cases of covid-19 were recorded in China.
As it is a new virus, there are many unknowns. But there is consensus that it is a zoonosis, that is, a disease that originally jumped from animals to people.
Everything indicates that it originally occurred in the seafood market in Wuhan, China, where wild animals are also traded.
But what you need to worry about is that it is also spread from person to person.
And that is something that happens very easily.
It is not enough to coincide
Does that mean that it is enough to be near a person infected to become infected with the coronavirus?
Well not exactly, since the level of closeness, type of contact, the duration of it and our own behaviors are key to the level of risk.
And the strength of our immune system - often conditioned by our age and health - can also make a difference.
Coronavirus can infect people of all ages, but it affects older people more strongly.
The key is to understand that viruses that affect the respiratory system tracts mainly in the so-called respiratory droplets , those little droplets that we expel when we breathe, speak, laugh, cough or sneeze.
This is why the highest risk of infection occurs when we are in close contact with an infected person, something that the UK public health service, NHS, defines as being less than two meters for 15 minutes.
This means that a patient with whom we meet briefly on the street would find it very difficult to infect us, although as any precaution is little, it is best to avoid all kinds of contacts.
And it is that as we will see in detail later, the viral droplets that this passer-by may have left in his path constitute a potential threat.

Still, however, even sharing a home with a covid-19 sufferer is not a guarantee of contagion.

When we sneeze or touch our nose or mouth we can leave behind virus droplets.
In fact, a study by the United States Centers for Disease Prevention (CDC) on the first infected in that country found that in those cases the rate of infection was 10%.
The reason: to infect us, respiratory droplets must enter our body through the eyes, nose or mouth.
And for that to happen, several things must happen.
Facing
One possible way for these droplets to reach our respiratory system is through the cough and sneezing of an infected person, which experts estimate to be the main form of transmission of the coronavirus.
And it is that the sneezes transform the droplets into aerosols that can be suspended in the air for several minutes, before settling on nearby surfaces.
The most dangerous thing is sneezing.
Obviously, the chances of contagion are especially high if they sneeze or cough into our faces.
But a short-distance conversation with a person infected with the virus is also a possible way to catch the virus.
That is the reason why the health authorities of the United States are recommending to maintain a distance of at least 1.80 meters with our interlocutors.
Although for this advice to work we must also follow others such as trying not to touch your face and wash your hands constantly and for at least 20 seconds.

What we take to our faces

This is so because although viruses eventually die if they do not find an organism in which to reproduce, there is a period of risk in which we can collect it from different surfaces.
"The hands are all the time touching on surfaces that may be contaminated, and then the person by touching his face can transmit the virus," Jarbas Barbosa, deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization, said.

Busy closed places increase the possibility of contagion.

The railings of the escalators of a subway station are an example: the virus can get there in the form of a sneeze or by the contact of the hand of a patient who covered his mouth to cough.
And if after touching them we put our hands to our faces, the damage is most likely done.
Unless, of course, we have washed our hands well before, because that destroys the virus, which is not capable of penetrating the skin.
Have we already said that it is vital to wash your hands well?

Don't be afraid of that package

Now, if the coronavirus survives outside the body for a while, how dangerous is that package with a toy most likely made in China?
The answer is: very little or nothing.
Indeed, according to research published in The New England Journal of Medicine , SARS-CoV-2 can survive up to three days on plastic or metal surfaces.
And surely that is much less time than the toy in question takes to reach its destination.
The risk, if there will be any, would come from the people who will deliver the package home, but the coronavirus disintegrates in less than a day in the cardboard.
(And, of course, for it to be potentially contagious it would have to have been manipulated by someone infected with the virus and entered into some kind of contact with their saliva.)
The virus can survive up to three days on metal surfaces.

In addition, the strength of the virus also decreases over time.  And there is still little evidence that transmission through surfaces is particularly frequent with the covid-19 causer
The virus can survive up to three days on metal surfaces and our cell phones
In addition, the strength of the virus also decreases over time.
And there is still little evidence that transmission through surfaces is particularly frequent with the covid-19 causer.
Although, if you prefer to avoid risks, you can always disinfect potentially dangerous objects with an alcohol wipe... starting with the cell phone.

Not just the sick

The study's most important finding in The New England Journal of Medicine, however, was that the new coronavirus "remains viable" in the air for up to three hours.
Although a little more reassuring is that its ability to stay in the air is much less than its viability, since it is only suspended in the form of an aerosol for up to half an hour.
According to researchers at the US National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the findings suggest that airborne transmission is possible.
But the World Health Organization insists that its main form of transmission is "by contact with respiratory droplets, rather than by air."
And the same researchers acknowledge that the high contagion rate appears to be more as a result of every carrier being contagious, even in the incubation phase of covid-19.

People without symptoms can also spread the coronavirus.

Infected person can transmit the virus even before symptoms begin. it can be contracted from people that are not even sick
People without symptoms can also spread the coronavirus.
In other words, an infected person can transmit the virus even before symptoms begin.
That is, a healthy-looking young man can be more dangerous than a brat who actually only has a common flu.

In a more dangerous group than separately

All this also helps to understand why the authorities have asked to avoid crowds, which are particularly dangerous in closed spaces.
And it is that the more people get together the more likely they are to come into contact with the virus, for the simple reason that the chances of coming into contact with someone infected.

who does not even know they are a carrier of the coronavirus also increase.

In some countries, the recommendation is not to exceed 10 people, in order to reduce these probabilities and perhaps facilitate leaving a safety space of more than one meter, which according to the WHO is the distance of greatest risk.
But of course, a group of 10 healthy people is much less dangerous than an intimate encounter with an infected person.
According to the WHO, the risk of contagion is particularly high within a meter.
And the best way to avoid risk is to minimize all kinds of contacts through so-called social distance or self-isolation.

And the sex, can I get Coronavirus through it?

The bad news is that having a sexual relationship with a sars-cov-2 carrier is an almost certain way to catch the virus.
There is no indication that covid-19 is what is known as a sexually transmitted disease.
But kisses or the proximity of panting faces guarantee the exchange of droplets.
Yes, kiss is contagious.

 kisses or the proximity of panting faces guarantee the exchange of droplets.
In these circumstances, even an intimate dinner can be conducive to contracting it.
The food itself, however, would most likely be safe: Experts do not believe the virus is capable of surviving the food's cooking process (or reheating it).
The risk, if anything, would be that a sick person handles food without the necessary precautions before bringing it to the table.


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