Doctor answers top questions about coronavirus

Nine very simple questions on the coronavirus, answered by Professor Philippe Juvin, one of the doctors leading the fight against the pandemic in France.

Your questions about coronavirus answered

Brut spoke to a doctor to answer the most frequently asked questions about COVID-19.

Does confinement really work?

Yes, it has an effect. “We saw this in China. They’re seeing a real reduction in the number of cases, even though they were in an extremely worrying epidemic situation.”, he tells Brut.

How long can the virus remain inside of us?

The incubation period varies from 2 to 13 days. The incubation period is the moment that you encounter the virus, that it enters your body, and the point when you start to be sick i.e. to show symptoms,” he explains. But that is only the first phase of the illness. The first phase, you don’t know you are sick because the virus is in your body and starts to weaken your immune system. Eventually, after the incubation period, you start to feel sick. You start coughing. This will last, usually, around two weeks. “And then, after two weeks, the virus will have probably gone but, as we don’t do tests any longer to find out whether it has gone or not. I don’t really know how to answer you. So you have to allow, let’s say, three weeks in total… Three to four weeks in total, because if you have an incubation of 12 days and an actual illness of 14, well that gives you one month.”, he concludes.

Does the virus travel in the air?

Some people may argue that there is aerosol transmission of the virus. This is why it is important to air the various rooms in your home. This is also one of the reasons that the risk of contamination is particularly high when there are several of you in an enclosed space.

How long can the virus remain on an object?

The virus doesn’t die straight away. But, how quickly it dies is currently what virologists are arguing about. It is not impossible that the virus can remain for hours on a table, which is why you should be washing your hands nonstop.

What’s the mortality rate for the coronavirus?

The mortality rate is between 1 and 3 percent. But, “that doesn’t mean much because a mortality rate is a number of deaths, which this time can be easily identified, divided by a number of cases.” Currently, no one is sure of the actual number of cases.

Are young people also affected by the virus?

Yes. There will be young patients who will develop serious, critical forms of it. Yet, those cases will remain a minority though.

Will good weather kill the virus?

It is uncertain. Some viruses are seasonal. But, no one can accurately answer this question at the moment.

Is a vaccine coming soon?

A vaccine is in the process of being made. But, again, nothing is certain about when it will be available to the public.

So, what do we do?

Don’t leave your house. Limit your social interactions. Don’t sleep in the same room as someone who is potentially sick. Finally, the doctor states, “Help us in not disrupting the system. Which means that when you have a little microscopic health issue. Well, for a change, don’t come to the emergency room and be a nuisance, you can consult your doctor, your pharmacist, get advice from your nurse, but try and spare hospitals and emergency services.”