Corona virus 66 important questions: Coronavirus symptoms, protection for yourself and others – and much more. Our service with frequently asked questions about viruses, epidemics and how to deal with them.
The number of coronavirus cases in India is growing , in Europe it is even increasing. We have compiled the answers to the most important questions about the spread of the virus and give an overview of what you need to know and how you can protect yourself – in the event of a possible outbreak of coronavirus, but also against influenza, which is currently being avoided.
[All important updates of the day about the corona virus in the questions of the day. The most important news, reading recommendations and debates. ]
This ranges from the question of what a mouthguard brings, what symptoms can occur, what you can do in the event of illness , to the question of whether your pet is also at risk.
The most important tips on how everyone can effectively protect themselves in advance: Regular, thorough washing of hands with soap, if possible keeping more than 1.50 meters away from infected or possibly infected people, avoiding touching the mouth, nose and eyes with the hands. And: don’t panic! It is never helpful; On the other hand, being well informed and prepared.
Editor’s note: This article is updated regularly with new questions and answers.
1. What are corona viruses?– Corona virus 66 important questions
Corona viruses are comparatively large, round viruses that have an envelope. The viruses appear crown-like under the electron microscope (Latin: Corona). Researchers have described hundreds of types of coronavirus. They can cause very different diseases in mammals, birds and fish. If they reproduce, their genetic makeup can also change. This can mean that they can change from one species to another – and thus become dangerous for people even though they have only infected animals so far.
2. What are the symptoms of the disease?
The symptoms are similar to those of a cold, such as scratching of the throat and increased temperature, general malaise. Diarrhea sometimes occurs. Runny nose is comparatively rarely observed. With severe courses with massive virus multiplication in the lower respiratory tract shortness of breath occurs.
3. How is the corona virus transmitted?
As with other pathogens of diseases of the mouth, nose, throat and lungs, both smear infections and droplet infections are possible. Which way plays the bigger role is unclear.
4. What is a smear infection?- Corona virus 66 important questions
A smear infection occurs when contaminated people or surfaces are touched, for example, by hand and then touches this hand to the nose, mouth or eyes and in this way viruses are deposited there on mucous membranes.
5. What is a droplet infection?-Corona virus 66 important questions
A droplet infection is caused by mini-droplets expelled from the body when sneezing and coughing. However, transmissions are also conceivable when speaking.
6. Can you become infected with imported goods or packaging?
This possibility cannot be ruled out, but the risk is classified as very low. This is justified as follows: The viruses can, as far as is known, persist for some time on surfaces, but they are not particularly well equipped for this. In addition, the goods should have been contaminated with large quantities of pathogens, which would be anything but the rule even in epidemic areas.
7. What is the use of disinfecting packaging?
In the course of the generally increased hygiene, there is nothing to be said against wiping goods packaging with a damp cloth and with cleaning liquid. Disposing of the packaging safely immediately and then washing your hands thoroughly is also recommended.
8. What is the best way to protect yourself personally against a coronavirus infection?
Regularly washing your hands thoroughly with soap, if possible keeping more than 1.50 meters away from infected or possibly infected people, avoiding touching the mouth, nose and eyes with your hands are the most important and most effective precautions. There are also numerous other options that we have summarized here.
9. Which is better: disinfectant gel, spray and wipes? Or soap and water?
Thorough hand washing with normal soap virtually completely inactivates corona viruses. What “thorough” means can be found in the answer to question 10. Hand disinfectants may even be less effective than soap and water . They are useful when hygienic hand washing is not possible.
The disinfectant should contain at least 60 percent alcohol. Like the detergent substances in the soap, this damages the envelope of the virus and thus also removes its infectivity. In addition, it is difficult for some surfaces to clean them thoroughly with detergent substances, here too, disinfectant spray is an option. If no disinfectant is available, it is in most cases not a significant additional risk factor, since it is usually still possible to wash your hands or, until this is possible, to avoid mucous membranes (eyes, mouth, nose) with them to touch.
10. What does “thorough hand washing” mean?
Briefly a little soap and water, then quickly rinsed off: that’s not enough. You should do this:
- Hold your hands under running water, the temperature doesn’t matter.
- Soap thoroughly – it has to foam well – at least up to the wrist, do not forget the spaces between fingers, pay special attention to fingertips and nails.
- Wash your hands this way for at least 20 seconds, which is about the time it takes for you to buzz the tune of Happy Birthday to yourself twice. And it is significantly more time than we normally spend washing our hands!
- Rinse thoroughly, then do not use your hand to close the tap, but rather use your elbow or a paper towel or tissue.
- Dry thoroughly and anywhere, with a disposable towel or at home with a personal towel not used by anyone else. Air dryers are less suitable. In public toilets, you should then make sure that you do not immediately touch the doorknob used by many people again, but also use your elbow or a tissue or the like.
11. Can I do something around the house to protect myself?
For example, towels should not be used together, even at home. When sharing meals, the dishes and cutlery should not be used together (special attention must be paid to children). Since it can hardly be avoided to share the ladle, for example, hands should also be washed after eating.
12. What should I watch out for in public transport?- Corona virus 66 important questions
In public transport and buildings, wearing gloves that should be washed and changed daily if possible reduces the risk.
- It makes sense to open the windows if this is possible.
- It makes sense to leave the doors permanently open at breakpoints for ventilation.
- It is advisable to regularly disinfect handrails and other surfaces.
In Taiwan, for example, the country where the best way to stem the spread of the virus so far (see question 45), this happens at every stop.
13. What should I watch out for in the office?
Handles used by numerous people, such as doors, windows and kitchen drawers, but also taps or buttons in elevators, are potential sources of germs. This reduces the risk if you open and close them with gloves, or if possible with your elbows, shoulders, etc. If contact with the hand is unavoidable, you can go wash your hands immediately afterwards.
14. What should employers consider?- Corona virus 66 important questions
You not only have to allow employees, but instruct them to stay at home if they suspect they are infected and, if possible, work from there.
15. Is there an increased risk in swimming pools / saunas?
Due to their peculiarities, the swimming pool or the sauna itself are not places of increased risk of infection with the corona virus. High levels of humidity and heat even make at least other viruses less likely to transmit. In addition, sport and sauna are considered to stimulate the immune system, which could also help against the corona virus. The water in the swimming pool can contain practically no infectious concentrations of viruses.
Otherwise, what applies everywhere else, where people meet in a small space and touch objects one after the other:
Those who may be infected should avoid such areas completely to protect others. If you have to sneeze or cough, you should keep at a distance of at least two meters from others, and if possible give in to this urge in an exclusively used textile (towel), which is then safely packed or fed directly into the laundry.
16. Is there an increased risk in the gym?
The risk in gyms is probably no higher than in other contexts in which people are together in a confined space and touch objects one after the other. If you only start to feel sick, you shouldn’t go to the gym – for your own protection because the body then needs rest, but also to protect others. Handles should be cleaned after every user if possible. Dumbbells, for example, can also be gripped with the help of paper tissues if you want to be sure.
It has not yet been conclusively clarified whether infected people in the gym can risk being exposed to high levels of viruses due to increased respiratory rate. Unprotected coughing and sneezing are usually required. This should be avoided, for example by coughing and sneezing into the textile-covered elbow – but above all, see above, by not having to go to the gym for those who suffer from cough and runny nose.
17. Is the corona virus transferable by cash or by card?- Corona virus 66 important questions
In principle, it is possible for this virus to be passed on via banknotes or coins, but it is not considered to be a significant means of transmission. It is also conceivable to distribute or collect viruses when paying with a card, for example by entering the PIN. The usual instructions regarding hand hygiene apply.
18. Do mouth masks always protect against transmission?
Surgical masks (mouth-nose masks) significantly reduce the risk of transmission for the wearer if they are worn correctly, i.e. close-fitting, due to their filter properties in the presence of infected people, but not nearly completely.
But: Thanks to their filter properties, the masks massively reduce the risk of transmission for others if they are worn by infected people. They were originally designed for this. They are intended to protect patients from germs of nursing staff and doctors in the hospital, and especially in the operating room.
19. What else should I know about mouth mask protection?
Protection from the masks diminishes if they are worn for too long. He can even reverse the risk of infection. This also applies if they are not disposed of safely, i.e. people could come into contact with contaminated masks. Details on this below.
20. Is it advisable to wear a face mask?
Beyond the filter properties, the masks are indirectly considered to be extremely effective protection because they prevent the wearer from touching the nose and mouth with possibly contaminated hands. According to expert opinion, if you also avoid looking into your eyes, the risk of a smear infection drops to almost zero. Critics, on the other hand, warn that the masks could psychologically suggest an excessive level of protection and lead the wearer to neglect other important hygiene rules or to keep away.
A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2019 came to the conclusion that normal mouth-and-nose masks, when used by medical personnel, are as effective as the respirators that were previously considered to be significantly more effective (see question 23 ).
21. How long can I wear a protective mask, can I wash it if necessary?
Normal protective masks should be worn for a maximum of one day, and if possible only when you really need them, i.e. in the immediate vicinity of others and not when you bring garbage or jog or the like. Washing affects the effectiveness of the masks, but does not set them to zero. The same applies to spraying with disinfectant spray. FFP respirators (see below) can be used longer and more frequently.
22. How exactly do I dispose of protective masks?
The masks can be contaminated with pathogens, both outside and inside. You should be careful with them. Protective masks should be disposed of in normal household waste, either in a tied garbage bag or wrapped in kitchen paper. Then wash your hands thoroughly.
23. What is behind the terms FFP2 and FFP3 in mouthguards?
These are so-called respirators with the specification FFP2 or FFP3. They are respirators with filters and valves that offer somewhat better protection than conventional respirators. However, they must also be specially adapted to the face by hand to keep them as tight as possible.
24. How do I best protect others?– Corona virus 66 important questions
The so-called cough and sneeze label should be adhered to as best as possible: If you have to cough or sneeze, then keep a clear distance from others, if possible use a handkerchief or the textile-covered elbow to catch droplets.
Anyone who suffers from a respiratory infection should avoid crowds of people – and thus also public transport, the cinema, etc. Avoid coughing on the supermarket displays as well as dragging yourself paracetamol to a party or a meeting. One should refrain from shaking hands in greeting and other greeting and farewell rituals associated with close contact.
25. How long is the incubation period?– Corona virus 66 important questions
According to current assumptions, the time between transmission of the pathogen and the onset of the disease can be up to 14 days. However, two other aspects have to be mentioned here: On the one hand, there are at least a few indications that it can take longer in exceptional cases. In addition, the incubation period says nothing about how long people who are not at all noticeably ill or recognizable but are infected remain infectious. Experience with other pathogens suggests that such people can pass the virus on for long periods of time.
26. How many people have been infected, died or recovered worldwide so far?
Here the numbers change daily. This website is constantly updated with data. “Total confirmed” means: total confirmed cases. “Total deaths”: Total deaths. “Total recovered”: Total recovered. The numbers are fraught with uncertainty. For example, one has to assume that a large number of people who show or have no or slight symptoms are infected or were not included in these statistics because they have not been or have not been tested.
27. Could up to 70 percent of the world’s population really fall ill, as a Harvard researcher claims?
This is a statement by Marc Lipsitch, a really proven expert. However, he does not speak of illnesses, but of infections. Firstly, because there is still insufficient knowledge about the virus and, secondly, there is almost nowhere in the world experience with a pandemic in the current form and under the conditions of the 21st century.
In this respect: Yes, it could be that the virus infects large parts of the world population. But then probably not everyone would really “get sick”, and most of them not seriously. Nevertheless, the consequences would be serious and, even if the mortality rate was less than one percent, there would be many victims.
But it could also be that the virus loses virulence due to genetic changes and the situation calms down. As always in situations where there are obvious risks but many details are unclear, the following must apply: act as carefully, prudently and considerately as possible, but do not allow yourself to be infected by panic.
28. What is the term Sars-CoV-2?– Corona virus 66 important questions
The pathogen currently known as “the corona virus” is officially called Sars-CoV-2. It has most likely passed from animals to humans. As far as is known, this happened at a market in Wuhan, China, where live animals were sold. It is currently assumed that bats are the natural host and that the pathogen came into humans through another animal intermediate host.
29. What is the term Covid-19?– Corona virus 66 important questions
The disease that is caused by the Sars-CoV-2 virus is officially called Covid-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019).
30. How threatening is Covid-19?– Corona virus 66 important questions
It has been demonstrated – for example in two people who had been flown from Wuhan to India – that people can be infected and cope with the virus with almost no or no symptoms. Even people who show symptoms usually don’t get seriously ill. A small percentage, which still cannot be reliably determined, leads to serious progress.
These require intensive medical treatment, such as ventilation and hydration by “drip”. Antibiotics may also be necessary due to bacterial infections, which then occur more frequently due to the weakened immune system and the attacked lung tissue.
31. What is the difference between coronavirus and flu?
The symptoms are sometimes the same or similar, but severe flaking is not typical for Covid 19 diseases. The differences lie, among other things, in the molecular mechanism by which the viruses gain access to their host’s cells – and where they do so in the respiratory tract. Until now, it was thought that the new corona virus behaved similarly to the Sars virus in 2003 and primarily affected lung cells deep in the bronchi. In the meantime , however, researchers have found that Sars-CoV-2 is extremely abundant in the upper respiratory tract, even more than influenza viruses in the flu. This is because the Sars-CoV-2 virus can also ripen in the throat there, while the Sars virus from 2003 could not.
32. Are there special risk groups?
The majority of coronavirus deaths are in older people with pre-existing conditions. In addition, the disease appears to be more dangerous for men than for women. However, the data situation is still not sufficient here. According to the Charité virologist Christian Drosten, the overall data suggest that children are seriously less seriously ill than adults and that pregnant women are not particularly at risk.
33. What is the situation like for children?
So far, as far as data are available, children have hardly been affected by any serious courses. However, they can potentially be effective carriers , among other things because of their stay in day care centers and schools, where they could become infected, and because of their not yet fully developed ability to take care of hygiene or even keep away from others. Children who may be infected should be isolated at home as much as possible. Since older people are particularly at risk, visits to grandma and grandpa and the like should be avoided if possible.
34. Are pregnant women and the children they carry out particularly at risk?- Corona virus 66 important questions
So far there is no evidence of this. However, this is possible. This is the case with other viruses, among other things because the mother’s immune system changes due to pregnancy. Pregnant women, like everyone else at the moment, should pay special attention to infection protection. You should do this very consciously and confidently towards others. And knowing that they should take all possible precautions and thus massively reduce the special risk, which is not proven, but only possibly existent, should they be stressed as little as possible by the circumstances. Partners must support the women in the best possible and most understanding way.
35. I am young and my immune system seems to be working. Why should I be careful anyway?
This raises the question of solidarity with the weakest. If you do not become ill or only mildly ill, but spread the virus further, you can ultimately be to blame for serious illnesses of others and even deaths.
36. How does a coronavirus test work?
In order to detect coronaviruses, the doctor needs a smear from the throat or “sputum”, that is, expectoration deep from the lungs – the latter is not easy to get, so throat swabs are the rule. Until now it was thought that the viruses multiply especially in deeper regions of the respiratory tract, which is why one tried to stroke the mucous membrane as deeply as possible in the throat area with a cotton swab. In the meantime, this is no longer necessary, says virologist Christian Drosten, because according to the latest findings, the viruses also occur in “enormous quantities” in the upper throat area. It is therefore no longer necessary to “torture” the patient with deep throat swabs, in which gagging is more difficult to avoid.
37. What happens to the smear?
Once the smear has been taken, specialized laboratories are able to prove the presence of the virus based on its genetic material. However, there is no way of distinguishing whether these are actually infectious viruses or maybe just leftover genetic material after surviving infection. However, it is likely that the viruses are active.
For the actual detection it would actually be necessary to try to cultivate the viruses in cell cultures. This can only be done in exceptional cases. If the test is negative for an existing flu-like illness, it is highly likely that the symptoms will not be triggered by Sars-CoV-19.
38. Suspected infection – what should I do?
First of all, you should take precautions to protect others from possible transmission (see our detailed list of such possible arrangements and behaviors). This also includes avoiding going to the family doctor’s office if possible and staying in the middle of other waiting people. You can call the family doctor’s office and discuss the situation with a doctor or staff and get advice on how to proceed.
Some doctors make home visits and can also take a smear. You can also call the emergency room at the nearest hospital, especially if you have more severe symptoms.
39. Can you become infected a second time?- Corona virus 66 important questions
There is at least evidence of this, for example, for a woman in Japan, but also for people in China. That would be like many other harmless corona viruses. It is still unclear how often this is to be expected and whether the disease will be more mild. The findings could also have been cases in which the disease simply had not yet healed and the virus had not completely disappeared. Anyone who has survived a Covid 19 disease is not immune to it afterwards, but should behave like everyone who has not yet developed it: cautiously.
40. Are there doctors or hospitals that are particularly well prepared for corona patients?
Patients with severe corona symptoms need to be isolated because of their infectivity and need intensive care because of their severe symptoms. This is basically possible in intensive care units in almost every general care hospital. Providing additional insulating beds or separating entire stations for this purpose is also conceivable.
41. What do I have to consider with pets?
So far there is no evidence or evidence that pets such as dogs or cats get or transmit Covid-19. Like so much in the context of this epidemic, this cannot be ruled out, but the normal hygiene, which should apply in any case when dealing with animals, is considered sufficient by experts.
On March 4, it was announced that the virus had been detected in a dog owned by a Hong Kong-born Covid-19 patient. The test results indicate that the dog carried relatively few viruses on its mucous membranes.
It is unclear whether the virus has reproduced appreciably there or has, as it were, accumulated as a contaminant only as a result of contact with the infected person and the surfaces touched or wetted with secretion. It is also unclear whether the dog could have passed the infectious virus on to humans. Experts consider this unlikely. The virus was also found in Sars in 2003 in pets. However, these never fell ill and transmission to humans has never been demonstrated.
42. Can the coronavirus be transmitted via faeces?- Corona virus 66 important questions
So far there is little data on this. What is certain is that virus material is excreted via the intestine. It is unclear whether these are reproductive pathogens or only due to digestive enzymes and the like already dismantled molecular scrap. However, a single recent study suggests that stool may be infectious.
At least one working group from the China-CDC health authority was able to detect under the electron microscope a virus isolated from a stool sample of a sick person that looked as if it was capable of reproduction. However, the actual evidence, which is only possible by growing viruses in cells under laboratory conditions, has not been provided.
Although viral genetics can be detected in stool samples from infected people, it was never used to infect cell cultures. That is “good news regarding hospital hygiene and infection control,” said Drosten. Nevertheless, it is still advisable to pay special attention to hygiene in the toilet.
43. Is India prepared for a major outbreak?
“Best possible” is the answer that Health Minister has given several times. The best possible does not necessarily mean “very good”.
A Berlin official doctor recently spoke up, who in such a situation considers the authorities to be overwhelmed, above all because many of the official medical positions in Berlin are not filled. Some experts also question whether the current practice , which is regarded as criteria for a possible infection and a test, is sufficient.
The federal system also complicates the coordination and merging of data. In a research by the , for example, it was not possible, despite numerous inquiries, to get specific and comprehensive information on the number of isolation beds available in India in an emergency and the availability of additional medical staff required. Demography could also be a factor, as there are comparatively many older people with existing illnesses in India who are considered the main risk group for life-threatening courses.
44. Is China a role model for India when dealing with the corona virus?
Draconian and possibly effective measures like in China are hardly imaginable in India . Basically, however, is well positioned in terms of medical care and capacity in hospitals. Civil protection organizations would also be able to create additional accommodation capacity for the sick in an emergency. There have also been large-scale, cross-border exercises to simulate a pandemic.
45. Where has the best way to contain the disease and spread the virus so far, and how?
Taiwan was actually the country that should have been hit hardest after China. Nevertheless, as of March 10, there are only 47 cases. The reason is that the authorities there implemented very consistent and long-term measures very early on and informed and sensitized the population at an early stage.
46. How is Covid-19 different from Sars?
Although the pathogens of Sars and Covid-19 are similar, they apparently differ in some relevant properties. Not everything is scientifically understood here. Sars-CoV-2 may be more infectious – more virulent – than Sars. It has recently become clear that there are many more viruses in the upper throat than in Sars, even more than in influenza. This contributes to a higher risk of infection. And a decisive role could play that unlike SARS, the virus appears to show by people who have no or only very mild symptoms and feel, be transferred can.
This is also related to the viral load in the upper throat: The pathogens can multiply in this area without the person having to feel particularly sick. In Sars, the virus multiplication took place primarily in deep lung areas. The immune system is much more active there, and those affected therefore felt really sick, were diagnosed more quickly and could be isolated.
47. Why hasn’t Covid-19 been contained yet?
The above-mentioned properties of Covid-19 make it almost impossible to contain the disease in the way that Sars has managed, namely by isolating the sick. Still, this strategy plays an important role in containing outbreaks. In Wuhan, for example, the apparently declining number of new infections is also attributed to this.
48. Why do you try to curb the spread at all?- Corona virus 66 important questions
Curbing the spread of the virus makes sense:
- because infected people can die.
- because long-term long-term consequences may threaten after severe, survived illnesses. At least these are reported in Sars, also a coronavirus with very similar symptoms. One speaks here of the “Post-Sars syndrome”. It can lead to complete incapacity to work. Among other things, the death of bone tissue, severe scarring in the lungs and post-traumatic stress are documented.
- because in this way massive economic and social consequences due to school closings, absence from work, production downtimes etc. can be minimized.
- because it prevents the health system from being overloaded. It is therefore more likely that for those who get sick, care can be guaranteed, for example by respirator, but also with sufficient care by staff.
49. Can you cordon off a city like Berlin? And what does that bring?
The discussion is complex. The logistics of such an action alone would be extremely complicated, the personnel and material costs immense, and the legality would then be the subject of the judicial decisions required in a quick procedure. The legal basis is primarily the Infection Protection Act .
Studies show that barriers, border closings and the like are only partially effective and can be counterproductive. It is problematic, for example, that this also creates a climate that can cause individuals to deal with symptoms in a secret manner, which cannot be wanted at all. In addition, it can be assumed that many people will still try to get out of the city if they are locked or pending
For this reason, Wuhan apparently left thousands of people shortly before the closure. All of this can lead to general chaos, but also to the fact that symptoms that are actually necessary are not clarified. In this way, the virus can spread and patients can withhold the necessary treatment. In a free country, when it comes to avoiding new infections, a lot will depend on the responsible and responsible behavior of individual citizens, institutions and companies.
50. What do lethality, mortality and virulence mean?
Lethality is the rate of death based on the total number of sufferers or based on the total number of infected. The term ” case fatality rate ” (CFR) is also used here. How high this is with this virus is still unclear. In a WHO press conference, Bruce Aylward, chairman of a joint mission to investigate the situation in China, reported a CFR of between two and four percent for Hubei Province and 0.7 percent for regions outside of Hubei. However, if many infections remain undetected due to missing or only mild symptoms, it could also be significantly lower.
Unlike mortality or CFR, mortality is simply the general death rate within the population or a group of people, regardless of specific factors such as illnesses and infections. This means that, for example, a virus with high lethality also increases mortality, while a vaccine that suddenly becomes available could then reduce mortality again.
Virulence is the extent of pathogenicity, i.e. the pathogenic potential of a pathogen. The higher the virulence of a pathogen, the higher the mortality in humans is usually, but not necessarily. In other definitions, virulence is also used as an extent of infectivity regardless of the severity of the resulting disease.
51. Can we predict when the epidemic will be over?
No. Even in China, where the number of new cases is declining, it is not certain that an end will soon be expected. If, for example, the restrictive governmental measures are relaxed, which will be necessary at some point, new infections and deaths could increase again. Forecasts are currently impossible for Europe and India.
However, experts assume that the number of cases will initially increase. Whether the epidemic can at least be contained to some extent will depend on many factors. This includes whether large sections of the population follow the advice on infection prevention or not, how effective it will be to close community, entertainment and sports facilities and shops. Whether travel restrictions and border controls lead to the desired success and how early it is possible on average to isolate infectious people.
Mutations of the pathogen can also play a role – also in a desirable way. There are always examples that the end of an epidemic is clearly linked to a reduced virulence of the pathogen. Factors such as weather and season also play a role in many pathogens, such as seasonal flu. To what extent this will be important for this corona virus is still unknown.
52. Is the corona virus pushed back as it warms up?
That is possible. It is unknown whether Covid-19 behaves seasonally similar to influenza or milder colds, whose transmission and disease rates are lower in warm months. However, there is reason to believe that there could be at least some relief in this direction. On the one hand, the tendency for people to stay close together in rooms that are not or poorly ventilated decreases in the warmer seasons. This can contribute to less frequent transmission.
There is also a little known factor. The expert on the spread of infectious diseases, Elizabeth McGraw from Pennsylvania State University, points to him: coughed or sneezed mini droplets sink faster to the ground in warmer, wetter summer air for purely physical reasons – and thus from the area in which they are inhaled than at low temperatures and lower air humidity. The increased UV radiation can also help in summer to destroy virus particles on surfaces outside, for example.
53. Will the corona virus come back next fall / winter?
That is also conceivable. The mechanisms discussed in question 52 naturally apply in reverse, which in turn could lead to increased transmission burrs. However, as has often been mentioned, it is a pathogen that is completely new to humans and has only been known for a few months. Therefore there is no corresponding experience.
54. When can you expect a vaccine?
Various vaccine options are currently being worked on, and intensively. Even the first human tests are expected to begin shortly. From some sources it is announced that immunization could be ready within months. Serious experts assume, however, that even if everything goes smoothly and there are no (not unlikely) scientific hurdles in the way, vaccination that is accessible to large population groups will not be available until the summer of 2021 at the earliest. But it could also take longer.
55. If I show flu symptoms but have a flu shot, can I expect to have Covid-19?
No. It is generally the case that a flu vaccination only protects against the flu pathogens that a panel of experts had identified months before as the mainly problematic virus types of the coming season. Otherwise, the huge amounts of vaccine serum that are necessary could not be produced using the methods currently used.
However, there are always other variants, against which vaccination does not protect or does not protect properly. In addition, the immune system may not have responded adequately to vaccination. So it is possible to get flu despite the flu shot. It is also possible that “flu symptoms” occur that are caused by another respiratory virus, ie neither the new corona virus nor an influenza virus. It is also possible that symptoms are triggered by bacterial pathogens.
56. What are viruses anyway?- Corona virus 66 important questions
Viruses are tiny structures that contain genetic material (DNA or RNA) but are not considered to be independent living organisms. They can only multiply in other cells and use their metabolism for this. Host organisms can be bacteria, but also archaebacteria, fungi and other nucleated unicellular and multicellular organisms – from slipper animals and plants to humans. Viruses were discovered at the end of the 19th century. The first was one that affected tobacco plants: the tobacco mosaic virus, which is still very important in research today.
57. Why do viruses trigger diseases?- Corona virus 66 important questions
Infection with a virus can be unproblematic for the infected organism, but it can also be threatening. This is how people catch a lot of different viruses in the course of their lives. Even if the immune system does not immediately neutralize them, many have little or no effect. Others, like the rabies virus, are fatal in almost 100 percent of cases. One hypothesis why some viruses make you very sick is that this is in the interest of the virus because it makes it easier for it to spread – for example, by coughing. This contradicts that very similar viruses behave very differently here.
In order for a virus to spread, it has to destroy its host cell, and many destroyed cells mean inflammation and usually also increased “poison” concentrations, triggered among other things by the dying tissue, which leads to symptoms of illness.
In fact, a so-called evolutionary strategy of viruses seems to be to find a balance between damage to the organism and protection of the organism. Because an immediately dying host is not a good vehicle for retransmission. Too little cell destruction and thus the release of viruses is an equally limiting factor.
This could also be a reason why new viruses that have jumped from animals to humans can be very dangerous. Because such a balance only has to develop over long evolutionary periods.
58. What supplies should I have at home?
Hamster purchases usually do not help the hamsters, but only those who make money selling them. And they harm those who then stand in front of empty shelves. Not buying everything empty is also a form of solidarity in crisis situations affecting the community.
It is a good idea to keep food that is long-lasting or perishable for a few days. What everyone stocks depends on personal preferences, intolerance, wallet, etc. Think of pasta, rice, eggs, canned goods, nuts, chocolate, cooking oil, long-lasting bread such as crackers, etc. You should get regular medication and a few rolls of toilet paper.
There is no need to store water, because the fact that public life will collapse completely and not even the water pipes bring clean water into the house is not to be expected even in more serious scenarios. In addition, it is possible for most people to bring their neighbors with them in a quarantine case and have them handed over to them without risk, or to order them from the delivery services of the supermarket and drugstore chains.
59. Can I still book a package tour now?- Corona virus 66 important questions
According to the Federal Foreign Office’s worldwide travel warning, package travelers can now cancel all package tours free of charge. “It is now officially declared as a travel warning and not just a note,” said Berlin travel lawyer Roosbeh Karimi told India. In the morning, the Federal Foreign Office had expressly warned against unnecessary tourist trips abroad.
“You have to reckon with increasing drastic restrictions in travel, with quarantine measures and restrictions in public life,” says the travel warning. “The risk that you will no longer be able to start your return journey due to the increasing restrictions is currently high in many destinations.”
Many tour operators, including Tui, FTI and Alltours, had already canceled all package tours until March 27 and March 31, respectively, and promised customers a free cancellation. After the official travel warning, the goodwill has now become a legal obligation that affects all providers.
The travel industry is asking the federal government to compensate the commissions for travel agencies and also the cancellation costs for tour operators as part of a grant. “The travel industry cannot handle the cancellation of booked trips that are either already fully paid or at least paid for,” said association spokesman Torsten Schäfer.
“We have to keep the liquidity in the companies. Otherwise nobody wins – neither the travel industry nor the consumers.” Another way would be to hand out a credit to the affected guests who are currently unable to start their journey. With this you could book your vacation again as soon as the situation normalizes again.
Klaus Müller, head of the Federal Association of Consumer Centers, urged consumers to use the option of vouchers in order to maintain liquidity for the travel company. However, the vouchers would then have to be protected by the state with insolvency protection, the consumer advocate demanded. “Consumers must be free to decide whether the travel price should be reimbursed or whether they accept the offer of a voucher that is valid for at least one year and that they can use flexibly.”
60. What if I have booked on my own?
In these cases you run the risk of being left at your own expense. “An individual traveler cannot cancel or rebook free of charge even if their travel destination is directly affected by the corona virus,” warns Berlin travel lawyer Roosbeh Karimi.
61. How do I know whether I have booked a package tour or not?
Unfortunately, sometimes that’s not so easy. It is a clear case when I book two travel services with a package tour operator, such as flight and hotel with Tui, FTI, The Tour or Schauinsland, and get a total price. On the other hand, if I book two different travel services from different providers independently of one another, it should never be a package tour.
One has to look at the exact booking documents, the Berlin travel lawyer Roosbeh Karimi points out: Should the services be provided on one’s own responsibility or should the services only be mediated? An indication could be whether there is a total price for all travel services or separate prices for individual services. With Expedia, for example, the latter is always the case and the general terms and conditions also clarify that travel services are only ever arranged.
62. What if an airline cancels my flight?- Corona virus 66 important questions
The corona virus has blocked many people’s desire to fly. The airlines are responding with increased cancellations. The question is whether passengers are entitled to compensation in such cases.
According to the EU Passenger Rights Regulation, this is possible if the cancellation is made at short notice – i.e. a maximum of 14 days before departure – and the airlines cannot rely on exceptional circumstances.
In the opinion of the Federal Association of the Indian Aviation Industry, the epidemic is a case of force majeure, so that the airlines only have to reimburse the ticket price or rebook the customer, but do not have to pay any compensation. Consumer advocates see it differently. They accuse the airlines of wanting to pass on their business risks to customers. Ultimately, this question will be decided in court.
Some airlines meet their customers and offer flexible rebooking options in view of the epidemic. Passengers of the Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Air Dolomiti) can book flights that they book from now until March 31 of this year once to a new date by the end of the year without incurring rebooking fees .
The same applies to existing bookings made by March 5 and with a departure date in March or April. Here, too, you can postpone the trip free of charge.
For both offers, however, the arrival and departure airports must remain the same. Lufthansa is suffering extremely from passenger restraint and has announced that it will temporarily cut half of its offer. Emirates also offers customers the opportunity to rebook flight bookings made between March 5 and March 31 free of charge within a period of eleven months.
With KLM, bookings up to March 31 with flights up to May 31 of this year can be changed free of charge. Those who prefer to travel after May 31 or change their travel destination can also exchange the ticket for a voucher. This can be redeemed for tickets from KLM, Air France or Delta Air Lines and can also be used for additional options on KLM flights.
The situation is different when airlines are no longer able to fly to countries because the states have imposed entry bans or restrictions on EU citizens. This applies, for example, to trips to the USA.
The Flightright Internet portal recommends that passengers wait until the airline officially cancels the flight and does not do so on its own initiative. This ensures that the airline reimburses the ticket price. However, there is no further compensation in this case.
63. Should I take out insurance?- Corona virus 66 important questions
A travel health insurance abroad always makes sense and belongs in your luggage. It covers the costs of medical treatment at the holiday location and, if necessary, also pays for home transportation. If, on the other hand, it is a matter of saving cancellation costs, travel cancellation or cancellation insurance is an option. However, this only steps in if, for personal reasons, you cannot start the trip or have to end it prematurely. Common cases are serious illnesses, domestic disasters such as a house fire or a new job. Fear of infection is not considered a reason for resignation.
64. I wanted to go to a concert. This is canceled because of the virus. Do I get my money back?
Yes, even if something is different in the general terms and conditions of many organizers. Such clauses, which should oblige the customer to pay even in the event of force majeure, even though they receive no consideration, are ineffective, says Oliver Buttler from the Baden-Württemberg Consumer Center.
In his opinion, this also applies to ghost games in the Bundesliga. “The clubs save the costs for files and cleaning staff, then they have to reimburse the ticket costs to the fans,” says the consumer advocate.
The situation is different with further costs, for example for the hotel or the arrival and departure, when you arrive for an event. “You won’t get these expenses back,” warns Julia Rehberg from the Hamburg Consumer Center.
Luckily, rail travelers are lucky: If they currently do not want to travel, they can exchange their booked tickets for a travel voucher free of charge. This also applies to saver and super saver tickets.
This is possible for all tickets for trips up to April 30th. The exchange begins on March 16 and runs through the railway outlets and customer service channels. If you want, you can also postpone your trip. For super-saver and saver fare tickets, the train is canceled, this offer is valid until June 30th of this year.
65. What if the event takes place and I cannot or may not attend?- Corona virus 66 important questions
It depends on why you are not participating. If you let your ticket expire out of fear of infection, you will be left at the expense.
If, on the other hand, you are not infected and you could have gone to the concert without the quarantine, you can bill the state for your ticket and possible additional costs as part of a state liability claim. That also applies to possible additional costs for a hotel or travel, says Buttler.
66. Where can I find current information about the corona virus?
- You will also be informed about current political and economic developments in the live ticker of the worldofscriptz.
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