Content updated: 25 March 2020
What is COVID-19?pcandeiasCOVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
What is considered a close contact?pcandeiasA peson with exposure associated with healthcare, including:
- Providing direct care to patients with COVID-19;
- Contact in laboratory environment with samples of COVID-19;
- Visits to the patient or stay in the same patient environment infected by COVID-19;
- Close contact or indoors with a patient with COVID-19 infection (eg. classroom);
- On an aircraft:
- 2 seats to the patient's left, 2 seats to the patient's right, two seats in the two consecutive rows in front of the patient and two seats in the two consecutive rows behind the patient;
- Traveling companions of the patient;
- Providing direct care to the patient;
- Flight crew who served the patient's section;
- If a patient with severe symptoms or with a lot of movement inside the aircraft, consider all people as close contact;
- On a ship:
- Travel companions;
- Sharing the same cabin;
- Providing direct care to the patient;
- Crew who served the cabin of the patient;
Should I wear a mask to protect myself?pcandeiasAccording to the current situation in Portugal, the use of a mask for individual protection is mandatory where people congregate, including grocery stores and public transportation, and also at the University of Porto facilities.
How can i protect myself?pcandeiasIn affected areas, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends hygiene measures and respiratory etiquette to reduce exposure and transmission of the disease: Adopt respiratory etiquette measures: cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing (with a tissue or elbow, never with your hands; always throw the tissue in the trash); Wash your hands frequently. You should wash them whenever you blow, sneeze, cough or after direct contact with sick people; Avoid close contact with people with respiratory infection
What’s the risk of infectionpcandeiasThe risk assessment is constantly updated, according to the evolution of the outbreak. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the Portuguese Directorate-General for Health (DGS) issue daily communications with the latest information summary and recommendations.
Are antibiotics effective in preventing or treating the COVID-19?pcandeiasNo. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19. They should only be used as directed by a physician to treat a bacterial infection.
Is there a treatment?pcandeiasTreatment for infection with this new coronavirus is directed at the signs and symptoms presented.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?pcandeiasNot yet. To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019.
How long is the incubation period for COVID-19?pcandeiasThe “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. The incubation period is still under investigation.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?pcandeiasThe most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. In more severe cases it can lead to severe pneumonia with acute respiratory failure, kidney and other organ failure and eventual death.
Can I catch COVID-19 from my pet?pcandeiasNo. There is no evidence that companion animals or pets such as cats and dogs have been infected or could spread the virus that causes COVID-19.
How does COVID-19 spread?pcandeiasPeople can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick. WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings.
Is COVID-19 the same as SARS?pcandeiasNo. The virus that causes COVID-19 and the one that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are related to each other genetically, but they are different. SARS is more deadly but much less infectious than COVID-19. There have been no outbreaks of SARS anywhere in the world since 2003.
What is a coronavirus?pcandeiasCoronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
I have symptoms and I’m at the University of Porto. What should I do?mrmacedoIf the person has symptoms (fever, cough or difficulty on breathing) and has been retourned from any affected areas/have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, you should go to the isolation area provided by the institution and inform the person responsible. On the isolation area, you should wear a mask and call SNS24 (808 24 24 24) and follow the recommendations. After the analysis, it's mandatory to clean and desinfect the isolation area and restock the products (masks, etc).
I’m on an international mobility program. What should I do?mrmacedoYou should practice respiratory higiene and maintain physical distance, and follow the recommendations made by the government. We recommend the self-monitoring of symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing. If symptoms appear, you should immediately call the national health authorities' helplines. In case of urgency, you can use the contacts provided by the International Relations Office of the University of Porto.