To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to cure or treat the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). As scientists race to find a vaccine and treatment, the best thing you can do for your health and to help stop the spread of the virus is focus on prevention.
Protocols when leaving your home
Common Questions: We are continuously monitoring and responding to this outbreak. This Q&A will be updated as more is known about COVID-19, how it spreads and how it is affecting people worldwide. For more information, check back regularly
What are Coronaviruses and COVID-19? Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that 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). COVID-19 is the disease and most recently discovered type of coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19? The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
How does CoronaVirus spread? Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets (rather than through the air). People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus even if they don’t show any symptoms. 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 physical distancing is important.
Is Coronavirus airborne? The Corona virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air. They quickly fall on floors or surfaces. You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are close to a person who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.
On March 30, IMI held a virtual mental health session with Dr. Farheen Faheem. She discussed the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and some tips on how to cope. Her presentation was followed by a live Q&A session. You can listen to the recorded call here
IMI HQ organized a widely attended International and Interactive webinar on CoronaVirus (with over 1700 hits) on March 6, 2020, with experts:
You can watch the recording of this webinar below.
Below are useful resources and access points for documents, videos, PDFs, etc. to help the public navigate the current pandemic. This list (and information on the site) is regularly updated as scientific knowledge advances about COVID-19 and this coronavirus, recommendations change, or content is made available. Given this, we recommend you share the link to this page (not the resources specifically) so the most updated version is available to whomever you share the information with as well. If you have information you recommend for review (to share here) or specific questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: These materials are regularly updated based on new scientific findings as the epidemic evolves. Last update: Live updating in progress--please refresh or continue to check back later today, April 5, 2020)
The World Health Organization has created simple videos and images to address when and how to wear masks available here. This guidance on when to wear masks or face coverings should be utilized in conjunction with local health guidance as well. In the United States, rules may also differ state to state so please check state and city guidance (Updates forthcoming).
Many of us have seen messages on social media attributing cures to teas or other misinformation. The World Health Organization addresses some of these common misconceptions.
Available in an incredible range of languages, “Living With Worry and Anxiety Amidst Global Uncertainty” is a free guide compiled by Dr. Whalley and Dr. Kaur that includes a mixture of psychoeducation about normal and excessive worry, lots of normalization, and a selection of practical exercises that you, your clients, or anyone can use to manage worry and maintain well-being in these uncertain times.
From Michigan Health: A pediatric psychologist offers five tips for parents on how to talk about the pandemic with their children.
Art Jameel has created a guide for kids to help talk them through COVID-19 in both Arabic and English. The book is available here.