Although the Wuhan virus has been confirmed that it can be infected through the faecal-oral route, experts say that there are currently no cases of patients who got sick through this method. Jiang Rongmeng, a member of an expert team organised by the National Health Commission for controlling coronavirus pneumonia, and a chief physician at Beijing Ditan Hospital confirms that the virus is spread by respiratory droplets and contact.
This was said at a press conference held by Hubei Provincial People’s Government on Monday (Feb 3rd) to reassure people that the virus was not airborne, Malaysiakini reported. This is based on the research done on the 17,205 confirmed cases that are in mainland China currently and proven by epidemiology.
Sneezing and coughing droplets have very limited transmission, but if the droplets land on surfaces such as doorknobs or elevator buttons, then people who touch these run the risk of getting infected. He also said that the coronavirus can live for one up to five days given the right conditions. Oh no!
Jiang explained, “Research shows a virus on a smooth surface survives for several hours. It can survive for days with suitable temperature and humidity. For example, it is suitable for it to live in a 20°C air-conditioned environment or in 40 to 50 percent humidity. Some researches have shown previously discovered coronaviruses can possibly survive for five days.”
As such, Jiang urges the public to always wash their hands and avoid touching their eyes or nose after they come into contact with a virus-contaminated surface. The faecal-oral contamination was discovered after medical experts found that some of the patients were experiencing diarrhea only but no fever. People get infected when they consume faeces-contaminated water or food.
“Although viral nucleic acids were found in faeces of infected patients, the virus has not been acquired yet. So we will keep observing to get further details. And the faecal-oral route of transmission cannot be confirmed even if the virus is found,” he added. The coronavirus is found to be able to survive at lower temperatures in a dry environment.
Always wash your hands and make sure to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze!
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