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Corona virus: Who should be tested now?
The number of coronavirus infections in Germany is increasing rapidly. In the meantime, more than 1,000 people in Germany have contracted the new pathogen. The uncertainty is great. How can you protect yourself against the virus and who should be better tested now?
The novel coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 is spreading ever further. Worldwide, more than 100,000 people have already contracted it. In Germany, the number of infected people has risen to over 1,000. The consumer center Schleswig-Holstein explains in a current message how you can protect yourself against the virus and who should be better tested.
Diseases that vary greatly
Infection with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can primarily cause respiratory diseases and lead to symptoms such as fever, dry cough, runny nose and fatigue.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) also reported breathing problems, sore throats, headache and body aches, and chills. Some sufferers also experience nausea and diarrhea.
According to the experts, the course of the disease varies widely, from asymptomatic courses to severe pneumonia with lung failure and death.
Previously, deaths have mainly occurred in people who were older and / or who had chronic underlying diseases. So far, the mortality rate has been somewhat higher than that of normal flu.
Transmission by droplet infection
It is believed that transmission from person to person is primarily through airway droplets, as is the case with the flu. Therefore, be careful when speaking, sneezing, and coughing.
In addition to droplet infection, contact and lubrication infections are also considered, which is why good hand hygiene makes sense.
According to the consumer advice center, sufferers can usually be contagious to others as soon as the symptoms appear. In some cases, however, patients with mild or absent symptoms can be contagious.
Protect against infection
As with flu and other respiratory infections, sufferers should observe the cough and sneeze etiquette in order not to spread pathogens and protect others from infection: the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) explains on its portal "infektionsschutz.de":
- When coughing or sneezing, keep at least one meter away from other people and turn away.
- It is best to sneeze or cough in a disposable handkerchief. Use this only once and then dispose of it in a trash can with a lid. If a tissue is used, it should then be washed at 60 ° C.
In addition, care should be taken to ensure adequate hand hygiene. Washing your hands thoroughly should take about 20 to 30 seconds. Normal soap is sufficient for this. So far there have been no scientific studies showing that the use of soaps with antimicrobial additives is of benefit to the general population.
Further recommendations: Keep a distance of one to two meters from suspected people. And shaking hands should be avoided.
Incidentally, all of these measures are always useful: They also protect against infection with other pathogens, especially during the cold and flu period.
When to be tested
The Robert Koch Institute recommends the following constellations to test for the new coronavirus:
- Respiratory symptoms (e.g. flu-like symptoms such as cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever) and contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 during the previous 14 days.
- Respiratory symptoms and stay in a risk area.
- People who have been in China but not in the risk area within the past 14 days and who have flu symptoms should first be examined for influenza (flu) and only tested for SARS-CoV-2 after consultation with the health department there is no flu.
If you want to be tested, you should first contact the family doctor by phone, describe the suspicion and make an appointment.
People who are only slightly ill do not necessarily have to be admitted to a hospital, but can be placed under domestic surveillance. If the laboratory result is available, usually on the same day or the following day, the further procedure is determined by the health authority.
According to the consumer advice center, employees and the self-employed do not have to worry about a loss of income. If the health department orders an official quarantine (at home or in a clinic), the employer usually pays wages for employees. The self-employed receive remuneration for loss of earnings.
No specific therapy
There is currently no specific therapy for coronavirus infections. Sick people are treated symptomatically according to the severity of the clinical picture, for example with the addition of oxygen, liquid and antibiotics for bacterial accompanying infections. (ad)
Also read: Current Coronavirus: Over 1100 infections - All Covid 19 cases in Germany and around the world.
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Schleswig-Holstein Consumer Center: Coronavirus: How to Protect Yourself and Who Should Be Tested (accessed: March 9, 2020), Schleswig-Holstein Consumer Center
- Robert Koch Institute (RKI): Answers to frequently asked questions about the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, (accessed: March 9, 2020), Robert Koch Institute (RKI)
- Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA): Hygiene when coughing & sneezing, (accessed: March 9, 2020), infektionsschutz.de