return icon Vietnamnet.vn

Coronavirus: Can you get it more than once? And other questions

What are the differences between coronavirus and flu, and can coronavirus be transmitted sexually?

{keywords}
Dr Li Wenliang contracted the virus while working at Wuhan Central Hospital

There have now been more than 40,000 cases of coronavirus, which has been declared a global health emergency. The disease has spread to many countries, including the UK.

The answers to a selection of readers' questions about the new virus are below.

Once you've had coronavirus, will you then be immune? Denise Mitchell, Bicester

When people recover from an infection their body is left with some memory of how to fight it should they encounter it again. This immunity is not always long-lasting or totally efficient, however, and can decrease over time. It is not known how long immunity might last after being infected.

What are differences between coronavirus and flu? Brent Starr, Gresham, Oregon, US

Coronavirus and flu share many similar symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose without a test. The main coronavirus symptoms to look out for are fever and a cough. Flu often has other symptoms too, such as aching muscles and a sore throat, while people with coronavirus may feel short of breath.

Anyone who suspects they may have caught coronavirus, because they have had close contact with another infected person or have travelled to an area where the virus is circulating, should talk to their doctor.

Can coronavirus be transmitted sexually? David Cheong, Singapore

It is not clear yet whether this is a route of transmission that we should be concerned about. Currently, it is coughs and sneezes from an infected person that are thought to be the main source of spread.

How come a Chinese doctor in his mid-30s has died from this 'flu-like' virus? Jeffrey

It might be that Dr Li had other, unreported, health conditions that put him at greater risk. Or he may have been exposed to a higher initial dose of the virus that meant he developed more severe symptoms. But it is also worth remembering that seasonal flu mostly kills the young and old, but can kill people in the prime of their life.

Is a face mask useful against the virus and how often does it have to be replaced? Tom Lim, Bali, Indonesia

There is very little evidence that wearing face masks makes a difference. Experts say good hygiene - such as regularly washing your hands and certainly before putting them near your mouth - is vastly more effective.

What is the incubation period for the coronavirus? - Gillian Gibs

The World Health Organization says the incubation period, which is the time before symptoms appear, ranges from two to 10 days.

These estimates will be narrowed down as more data becomes available.

Do people who have contracted coronavirus return to full health? - Chris Stepney, Milton Keynes

Yes. Many of those who contract coronavirus will experience only mild symptoms, and most people are expected to make a full recovery.

However, it can pose a particular risk for elderly people and those with pre-existing problems like diabetes or cancer, or weak immune systems.

An expert at China's National Health Commission has said that it can take a week to recover from mild coronavirus symptoms.

Can the coronavirus be transferred through items bought from Wuhan and posted to UK? - Stefan

There is no evidence this is a risk. Some diseases - including the coronavirus that causes Sars - can spread through surfaces contaminated by people coughing or sneezing on them.

It has not been shown this new coronavirus can do that. Even if it could, there would still be questions about whether international shipping would be a major problem.

Cold viruses tend to survive less than 24 hours outside the human body although norovirus (a severe stomach bug) can last months outside the body.

The most reassuring fact so far is that cases seem to require close contact with another person - say, a family member or healthcare worker - in order to spread.

Is there any reason such viruses are emerging more from China? - Gautam

Yes - large populations of people living in close proximity to animals.

This coronavirus almost certainly came from an animal source, with one suggestion being snakes. Sars, another coronavirus that originated in China, came from bats and the civet cat.

The early cases of this new infection were traced to the South China Seafood Wholesale Market. Live wild animals were also sold including chickens, bats and snakes.

Is it possible to vaccinate in order to prevent this respiratory illness? - Hans Friedrich

At the moment, there is no vaccine that can protect people against this type of coronavirus, but researchers are looking to develop one.

It is a new strain that hasn't been seen in humans before, which means doctors still have lots to learn about it. BBC

MORE NEWS

President to pay State visit to RoK next week

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse will pay a state visit to the Republic of Korea from December 4-6.

Fansipan among five top destinations for mountain trekking at year-end

Renowned tourism website Women's Weekly of Singapore has named Fansipan among the leading five destinations to visit for mountain trekking at the end of the year, with the website noting the Vietnamese mountain’s impressive views.

Dortmund chiefs predict bright future for VN football

Although this was only a friendly game with many of the German stars absent from the starting eleven due to the Qatar World Cup, the victory gave the Bundesliga team food for thought about Vietnamese players.

International designers dazzle fashion fans in Hanoi

International designers left a deep impression on fans of fashion in Hanoi with hundreds of fascinating designs presented at the Aquafina VN International Fashion Week (AVIFW) Fall/Winter 2022.

Monthly Government meeting focuses on year-end key tasks

The Government has established working groups on liquidity and currency, the real estate market and corporate bonds led by deputy prime ministers to stabilise these markets.

Vietnam to reduce environmental impact of textile-garment industry by 2030

The Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) has set a goal of helping Vietnam's textile and garment industry be more environmentally friendly by 2030.

Property brokers no longer manipulate prices as buyers become more cautious

As buyers have become more aware and careful about shady practices, real estate brokers have not been able to sell properties at prices much higher than their real value.

Hanoi to turn middle alluvium ground into park

One more park has been designed for Hanoians. However, it is still unclear when the project will appear, as a number of other projects are still on paper or pending.

Asian investors eye more M&A opportunities in Vietnam

Investors from Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK), and Singapore are looking for more potential merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities in Vietnam, pinning high hopes on the long-term growth prospects of the market.

Vietnam's fishery exports exceed 10 billion USD in 11 months

Fishery exports reeled in 10.14 billion USD as of November this year, up 27% annually, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

HCM City want foreign doctors to be fluent in Vietnamese

The HCM City Department of Health has just proposed that foreign doctors should be fluent in Vietnamese if they want to work in the country.

Use of toxic e-cigarettes among students on the rise

After a trial smoke, T lost consciousness, was foaming at the mouth, and his limbs were curled up. Two days later, T regained consciousness at the hospital, but was still in the status of extreme fear.

Vietnam spends US$7.74 billion importing petroleum products

Vietnam imported over 7.5 million tonnes of oil and petrol worth around US$7.74 billion as of mid-November, up 24.1% in volume and 122% in value year on year, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

Vietnam won’t sacrifice the environment for economic growth: Prime Minister

Vietnam takes people as the goal in development. People will enjoy the fruits of a green economy and the government will not sacrifice the environment to pursue economic growth.

Vietnam’s bond market contracts amid monetary tightening

After strong growth in the previous quarter, Vietnam’s currency bond market contracted 0.2% due to a decline in the Government bond market and slower growth in corporate bonds.
back_to_top