University of Porto contingency plan

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How to protect youself?

Frequently Asked Questions

Content updated: 5 March 2020

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which 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). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. 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 it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick. WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings.
No. The virus that causes COVID-19 and the one that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are related to each other genetically, but they are different. SARS is more deadly but much less infectious than COVID-19. There have been no outbreaks of SARS anywhere in the world since 2003.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. In more severe cases it can lead to severe pneumonia with acute respiratory failure, kidney and other organ failure and eventual death.
No. There is no evidence that companion animals or pets such as cats and dogs have been infected or could spread the virus that causes COVID-19.
The “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. The incubation period is still under investigation.
Not yet. To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019.
Treatment for infection with this new coronavirus is directed at the signs and symptoms presented.
No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19. They should only be used as directed by a physician to treat a bacterial infection.
In affected areas, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends hygiene measures and respiratory etiquette to reduce exposure and transmission of the disease: Adopt respiratory etiquette measures: cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing (with a tissue or elbow, never with your hands; always throw the tissue in the trash); Wash your hands frequently. You should wash them whenever you blow, sneeze, cough or after direct contact with sick people; Avoid close contact with people with respiratory infection
Yes. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.