Common Questions: Covid-19

New Variant of Virus that Causes COVID-19 Detected.

Does the new Covid-19 variant transmit more easily?

Public Health England (PHE) advises that the new variant COVID-19 (VUI – 202012/01) transmits more easily than other variants. There is currently no evidence that this variant is more likely to cause severe disease or fatalities, however studies are ongoing to understand this better.

How is the new variant of Covid different?

The variant, called B.1.1.7., has a handful of mutations in its genetic code. Some of these mutations slightly alter the virus’s so-called spike protein, which allows it to bind to and infect cells. These alterations to the spike protein could potentially make the virus spread easier.

Which countries have the new variant of Covid 19?

A handful of countries have confirmed cases of the new variant, including Australia, Denmark, Italy, Iceland, and the Netherlands. Hopkins said it’s likely that many other countries will report cases soon.

What to do If I develop COVID-19 symptoms within my 14-day quarantine period?

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms within your 14-day quarantine period:

• isolate yourself from others immediately
• contact your public health authority and follow their instructions
• extend your quarantine to 14 days from the day your symptoms developed

Can the coronavirus disease spread through food?

Scientists and food safety authorities around the world are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19. There are currently no reported cases of COVID-19 being spread through food.

If we become aware of a potential food safety risk, we will take appropriate actions to protect the safety of the food supply.

Are masks effective against the COVID-19 virus?

Well-designed and well-fitting masks or face coverings can prevent the spread of your infectious respiratory droplets. They may also help protect you from the infectious respiratory droplets of others.

Can the coronavirus disease be transmitted in hot or humid climates?

From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

How long does the coronavirus live on surfaces and objects?

We don’t know exactly how long the virus causing COVID-19 lives on different surfaces. However, evidence suggests it can live on objects and surfaces from a few hours to days, depending on the type of surface.

Can animals transmit the coronavirus?

Zoonotic transmission associated with the COVID-19 is possible. Although the virus likely originated from a wild animal host, the virus has adapted to efficiently transmit from human-to-human.

There is currently no evidence to suggest that animals, including pets, are playing a role in the spread of COVID-19 31.

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