Coronavirus Blackboard

Coronavirus Blackboard

Topic 17: Long-term Symptoms After COVID infection (Post-COVID Syndrome)

Question: Is Post-COVID Syndrome real?   Answer: There have been reports of sickness lasting months after diagnosis of COVID-19 in some individuals. Sometimes the symptoms show up for the first time months after a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. The symptoms often involve muscle aches and persistent fatigue, but others have symptoms related to organs such as lungs, brain or heart. Doctors are still trying to figure how much of these symptoms are connected to COVID-19 and how best to help patients. We know that some viral infections have been associated with a clinical condition called chronic fatigue syndrome. Doctors sometimes...
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Topic 16: Getting COVID More Than Once (Reinfection)

Question: Can someone who has already had COVID-19 get reinfected?   Answer: Yes. In fact, reinfection has been documented in a handful of persons in different countries. The first was in Hong Kong. It is unclear how often reinfection occurs, but it is expected to be uncommon.  Scientists confirm reinfection by comparing the genetic composition of the SARS-CoV-2 virus found at different times in the individual and showing they are not the same. Remember “COVID-19 immunity passport”? That is the idea that once someone has had COVID-19, they essentially become immune and can never have it again. We now know...
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Topic 15: SARS-CoV-2 Shedding and Transmission

Question: A person was diagnosed with COVID-19 a month ago, and his swab test continues to come back positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Is this person likely to be infectious now?   Answer: No.Experts now think that people whose swab tests show evidence of the virus several weeks after initial diagnosis may not be infectious.  The swab test for COVID-19 is reported as positive if it shows evidence of proteins from the virus in the sample. This may be virus that can be transmitted or inactive virus that is not infectious. It turns that some people continue to have a...
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Topic 14: COVID-19 in Children

Question: Can COVID-19 Cause Severe Illness in Children? Answer: Yes. While most children with COVID-19 have no symptoms or minimal symptoms, a very small proportion of children do become quite sick. Overall, children handle COVID-19 better than adults. When children become sick from COVID-19, their symptoms tend to be similar to those of adults, but are much milder. The children at a higher risk of becoming quite sick include those under the age of 2 years, and those with underlying medical problems like asthma, heart defects, or weak immune system. Why do children have milder symptoms that adults in general?...
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Topic 13: COVID-19 Vaccine

Question: Should I be concerned about getting COVID-19 from the vaccine? Answer: No. Many vaccines are being looked at for COVID-19. These vaccines are not capable of causing COVID-19. Vaccines stimulate the immune system to produce proteins that prevent a specific infection. They do this by imitating infection. COVID-19 vaccines in development do not contain live coronavirus, so they are not capable of causing infection. Many of the COVID vaccines that researchers are looking at target a part of coronavirus called spike protein. Why spike protein? Well, coronavirus needs its spike protein to infect new cells. When spike protein is...
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Topic 12: Face Shield for COVID Prevention

Question: Should the general public shift from face mask to face shield for COVID prevention? Answer: The main recommended face covering to prevent COVID transmission in the general public is still face mask (either medical or cloth). However, a few experts have started advocating for wider use of face shield because it has some advantages. Face shield is better than nothing when physical distance cannot be maintained. In an experiment, face shield reduced inhaled virus and small particle aerosols by 92% and 68%, respectively (Lindsley 2014). While the virus tested was not COVID coronavirus, the study indicates that face shield...
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Topic 11: COVID Severity in Men Versus Women

Question: Is COVID more severe in men compared to women? Answer: Yes. All over the world, men have been found to have worse illness and higher death rates than women. This does not mean that women don’t fall sick or even die from COVID. We all need to be wary of this virus. There is consistent observation of worse COVID symptoms and higher death rates in men. One of the explanations for these differences is that men have higher rates of underlying illnesses such as chronic lung or heart disease that are known to worsen the severity of COVID.  Other...
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Topic #10: Transmission of COVID Coronavirus

Question: When is someone with COVID-19 most infectious (i.e. capable of transmitting infection)? A. A few days before symptoms start to onset of symptoms B. Days 2-7 after symptoms start C. Days 7-10 after symptoms start Answer: A: About 44% of COVID Coronavirus transmissions occur in the 2 days before a person develops symptoms Viruses are not all the same in terms of when they spread from one person to another. By checking how much coronavirus is shed by patients with COVID-19 and using that information to make complex calculations, researchers in China have estimated that many transmissions occur before...
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Topic #9: COVID Coronavirus and Pregnancy

Question: Is COVID-19 more severe in pregnant women? Answer: No. What we know so far is that COVID-19 appears to cause similar symptoms, and is not more severe, in pregnant women compared to non-pregnant adults. There have been relatively few reports of COVID in pregnant women. What we know so far is encouraging for pregnant women and their babies. Some highlights are:  The most common symptoms in pregnant women are fever and cough, similar to other persons. Some pregnant women with COVID are asymptomatic, i.e. have no symptoms. This is not different from non-pregnant adults. Pregnant women with COVID do...
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Topic #8: COVID Coronavirus and Chest Pain

Question: What causes chest pain in persons with COVID-19? Answer: COVID-19 can lead to formation of painful blood clots in the lungs. This complication is a lot more common with COVID-19 than other severe viral infections. Doctors have known since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak that the virus can attack the lungs and cause progressive difficulty breathing. However, it took some time for doctors to notice that formation of blood clots is also a complication of COVID-19. Blood clots in the lungs cause sudden chest pain that can be deadly. Sudden chest pain that is worse with breathing in...
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