Coronavirus Questions: Your Top 5 Answered by an Expert

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coronavirus questions

Coronavirus questions are everywhere it seems. And wading through the answers can be confusing. So that’s why we asked Rudy Tedja, DO, Critical Care Medicine and Infectious Disease Specialist, to answer the top five questions people are asking via Google search.

The top five coronavirus questions asked on Google are:

1. What percentage of people die from coronavirus?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as of 7/8/2020, about 130,133 deaths were reported out of 2,932,596 total COVID-19 cases in the US1. This is roughly a 4.43% total mortality rate. In contrast, there is a higher rate of mortality in critically ill patients who develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In fact, it ranges from 26% to 67%2,3,4

2. How long after coronavirus are you contagious?

Studies have suggested that you are most likely no longer contagious after 14 days of symptoms onset and you have resolution of symptoms. Most importantly, if you are exposed to COVID-19 the CDC suggests staying at home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who tests positive. Doing this will allow you to not only monitor your health, but also keep the virus risk from others.

Related: Staying Safe While Running Errands

3. How long does it take to get results from a coronavirus test?

There are many COVID-19 testing platforms available in the market. Depending on which platform your hospital has, you could get test result back fairly quickly – even within hours. Talk to your medical provider as you may need a doctor’s order to get a test.

4. Can you get coronavirus more than once?

It is not entirely clear how immune you are after a COVID-19 infection. Your body develops antibodies after exposure to the coronavirus. However, it’s unclear whether these antibodies are fully protective. More studies are underway to find out. At this time, it’s possible that you could get re-infected with the coronavirus more than once.

5. What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Symptoms of coronavirus are nonspecific, and they include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, sinus congestion or runny nose, new loss of taste or smell, nausea/vomiting or diarrhea5. Each individual would have a different variety of symptoms.

References:

1. COVID cases in the US CDC.

2. Grasselli G et al. JAMA 2020;323:1574-1581

3. Bhatraju PK et al. New England Journal of Medicine 2020;382:2012

4. Arentz M et al. JAMA 2020; 323:1612-1614

5. Symptoms of Coronavirus CDC. July 6, 2020

If you are experiencing symptoms call your medical provider, or if in Washoe County, the Health District at 775-328-2427.

Related: Underlying Conditions Explained and How to Know if You Have One

Above all, regular handwashing, using a face mask and social distancing are key to keeping you safe from catching a virus.

Please note there is no walk-in testing or swabbing for COVID-19 at Renown Health locations. Find out more about our current screening process.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. To compare COVID deaths to ARDS is not only not helpful, it is ridiculous. I don't have ARDS, but I certainly can get COVID. This is as foolish as comparing the death reate to prostate cancer. I won't be getting this anytime soon.
    • Dr. Tedja responds: Dear Victoria, thank you for the comment. The intent was not to compare COVID deaths to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Patients who are diagnosed with COVID could get worsening respiratory status that progresses to ARDS. Those patients with COVID who develop ARDS have high risk of death. ARDS is an acute inflammatory form of lung injury, and it can be due to many etiologies, including bacterial pneumonia, viral pneumonia, inflammatory/autoimmune diseases, etc. I hope this clarifies the confusion. Regards, Rudy Tedja, DO

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