Frequently Asked Questions (18 March 2020)
What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus (HCoV) is one of the most common viruses that cause upper respiratory infection known as a flu or cold. This factor is responsible for 15-30% of upper respiratory tract infections frequently seen in winter and spring. However, it has been reported in the past years that different types in the coronavirus caused severe infections. For example, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) are diseases caused by different coronaviruses.

What is the New CoronaVirus Disease (COVID-19)?

New Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19: Coronavirus disease 2019) is a respiratory infection that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is a new coronavirus that was first detected during an epidemic investigation in Wuhan, China.

It was identified at the end of December 2019, during the epidemic in those with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath; On March 11, 2020, it was recognized by the World Health Organization as a “pandemic” (very common, simultaneously worldwide, infectious disease that threatens a large number of people).

How is the new Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) transmitted?

The virus is thought to be spread mainly by inhalation of droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes near people in close contact. Also the virus can be transmitted by not washing your hands after touching a virus-infected surface and also by touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth without washing your hands. Therefore, it is dangerous to touch the eyes, nose or mouth with dirty hands.

What are the symptoms of the new Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)?

The new Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) can pass with almost no symptoms and may progress with clinical results containing severe respiratory complaints. Although it is reported that there may be cases without symptoms, their rate is unknown. The most common symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath. In severe cases, pneumonia, severe respiratory failure, kidney failure and death may develop.

How is the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) diagnosed?

Molecular tests required for the diagnosis of new Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) are available in our country. The diagnostic test is performed only in the National Virology Reference Laboratory of the General Directorate of Public Health and the designated Public Health Laboratories. However, it is planned to increase the number of test centers according to the course of the outbreak.

Is there a virus-effective drug that can be used to treat the new CoronaVirus Disease (COVID-19)?

There is no effective treatment for the virus that causes the new Coronavirus Disease. Currently, there is no virus effective drug.

Can antibiotics prevent or treat New Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)?

No, antibiotics are only effective against bacteria. Antibiotics should not be used.

Is there a vaccine for the new Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)?


What can be done to avoid the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?

The basic principles proposed to reduce the overall risk of transmission of acute respiratory infections also apply to New Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

Attention should be paid to hand hygiene. Hands should be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and alcohol-based hand antiseptics (containing at least 60% alcohol) should be used in the absence of soap and water. There is no need to use soap with antiseptic or antibacterial, normal soap is enough.

The mouth, nose and eyes should not be touched without washing hands.

Sick people should avoid contact (if possible, be at least 1 meter away).

Hands should be washed frequently, especially after direct contact with sick people or their environment.

The virus scattered from the respiratory droplets of sick people can be transmitted to the patient’s hand (and places such as the door handle, holding rings on the city bus) and various surfaces. For this reason, it is necessary not to touch the surfaces that are open to general use. Efforts should be made not to touch our face (mouth, nose and eyes) with unwashed hands.

The virus has been shown to remain suspended in the laboratory for up to three hours in the laboratory, although it is not known for certain. Although this issue has not been clarified, it may be useful to wear a mask in closed and crowded environments (such as city bus and metro).

Should a mask be worn to avoid new coronavirus disease (COVID-19)? Which mask should be worn?

Healthy people do not need to wear masks outdoors. In necessary cases, wearing ordinary, simple surgical masks is sufficient. Only medical personnel who have to make close contact with a large number of patients need to wear more advanced (such as N95) masks. Masks can usually be used for a limited time (hours). Continuing to wear the same mask may become contaminated or infected with the virus, which may be more risky for the development of infection.

What is the incubation period for the new Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)?

The incubation period between exposure to the virus and the appearance of pronounced signs and symptoms is usually between 2 and 14 days.

Who is more vulnerable to the new Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)?

The data obtained in China, where the new Coronavirus Disease first started, revealed that some people suffered this infection much more severely. These risk groups are defined as advanced age and and people with serious chronic medical problems (heart disease, diabetes and lung disease).

Are children at risk for the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)?

Healthy children are not included in the risk groups currently defined. However, children with serious underlying diseases and in need of special care may be at risk. The effects of the disease in these groups are not yet known.

When should we consult a doctor consult?

The most common symptoms of New Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) are high fever and dry cough. If these complaints have appeared, it is necessary to consult a doctor. In the following days, shortness of breath can be added to these complaints. Having shortness of breath with high fever and dry cough may suggest a more severe disease (pneumonia). However, shortness of breath with no fever and cough probably depends on another problem, not infection.