Asked by Answers Staff in COVID-19

What should I know about coronavirus?

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We've compiled frequently asked questions about the novel coronavirus at the center of the current pandemic. Each section includes links to trusted health organizations. First things first: The coronaviruses are a family of viruses whose symptoms can range from the common cold to something more serious and potentially lethal, and a new coronavirus is currently spreading across the planet, affecting the daily lives of many. In December 2019, an outbreak of a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) occurred in Wuhan, China. It causes a disease called COVID-19, which can lead to death, particularly for the elderly and people with serious chronic medical conditions. There are currently no vaccines or antiviral treatments available. More than 150 countries and territories, including the United States, have confirmed cases of the infection since the initial outbreak, and on March 11, the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic. What are its symptoms? According to the CDC, fever, cough, and shortness of breath are the main symptoms of COVID-19. Additional symptoms may include aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, and diarrhea. Severity of the symptoms range from mild to life-threatening—about 1 in 5 people who are infected require hospital care. How do I get tested? If you’ve had contact with someone with COVID-19 or live in a community experiencing an outbreak and develop a fever and other symptoms of the disease, the CDC recommends you call your healthcare provider. Tell them about your symptoms and potential exposure to the virus, and they’ll make a call on whether you should be tested. They'll also help determine the safest way to receive your test. More specific guidelines vary from state to state. NBC News has a handy guide here. It’s especially crucial that you call your medical provider if you’re elderly or have a serious chronic medical condition. Also, if you or a loved one are very sick (e.g., experiencing symptoms like difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, confusion, or bluish lips or face), seek medical attention immediately. How does it spread? The CDC and researchers worldwide still have a lot to learn about COVID-19 and how it spreads. According to current knowledge, though, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is mainly spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. That means droplets from an infected person’s coughs and sneezes land on other people’s noses or mouths, or they breathe them in, and that infects them, too. It’s also possible that the virus can spread through people touching contaminated objects and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes. How can we prevent it? According to the CDC, “the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.” Some steps you can take to limit your exposure to the virus: Regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Pay attention to hand hygiene, especially when you’ve been in a public place and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Practice social distancing by increasing the space between you and other people. That means staying home as much as you can, especially if you feel sick. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces (like keyboards, doorknobs, and light switches) every day. Cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow or a tissue. Throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands. Wear a facemask only if you are sick or are caring for someone who’s sick and can’t wear a facemask. How is coronavirus different from the flu? While there are some similarities between the symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu (most notably fever and dry cough) one of the biggest differences is that we know significantly less about COVID-19. But here is what we do know: COVID-19 is more infectious than the flu. The “basic reproduction number,” or R0, of an infection is the average number of people who catch it from a single infected person. The flu has an R0 value of 1.3, while the R0 value of COVID-19 is estimated to be much higher. Right now, COVID-19 seems more likely to kill than the flu. While the exact fatality rate of COVID-19 is not yet known, it appears to be much deadlier than the flu. Influenza has a mortality rate of 0.1 percent, and current estimates of COVID-19’s fatality rate range from 1.4 percent to 3.4 percent. There is currently no vaccine or treatment for COVID-19. Unlike seasonal flu, there is no widely available vaccine to protect against COVID-19 infection. Similarly, there are no antivirals to help to reduce symptoms and shorten the duration of the disease. For more information on this ever-developing COVID-19 pandemic, consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s page dedicated to the virus, found here.
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Asked by Gwendolyn Nicolas in Investing and Financial Markets, Stock Market

What is a bear market?

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According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, a bear market occurs when a broad market index falls by 20 percent or more over a period of at least a two months and the outlook is generally pessimistic. The average length of a bear market is 367 days, and they are usually accompanied by recessions—periods when the economy shrinks and unemployment rates soar.
Asked in Fortune Cookies

Who writes the fortunes in fortune cookies?

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The largest manufacturer of fortune cookies (and messages) is Wonton Food, Inc. and their CFO, Donald Lau was the unofficial fortune writer for more than 30 years until the company brought on freelancers to supplement. According to his profile in The New Yorker, Lau was chosen because his English was the best in the company. He claims to find inspiration everywhere, including the subway, as well as more traditional Chinese adages.
Asked by Alek Batz in Pasta, Spaghetti

What do you call a single spaghetti noodle?

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A single spaghetti noodle is quite delightfully called a spaghetto. In Italian, “i” on the end of a word means it’s plural, the “o” here means it’s singular. So this goes for all your favorite pasta: fettucino, gnocco, my personal favorite raviolo, etc. Further, you technically don’t want a panini, you want a panino. I hope this brings you as much joy as it has brought me.
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Asked by Kamron Roberts in Chocolate, Desserts, Snacks, and Treats, Dermatologists

Does chocolate cause acne?

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Nope! The list of things we know actually causes acne is not very long, but we do know this: Chocolate, and greasy foods, for that matter, are not on it. Medical professionals believe genetics, changing hormones, greasy makeup, and taking certain medications are the factors at play, not what you eat. However, if you already have acne, certain things can make it worse, like pollution, humidity, and stress.
Asked by Tom Schmidt in Time Travel

If you could witness one event past, present, or future, what would it be?

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Future so I know what will happen and I will be prepared and do what I have to
Asked by Dereck Kozey in Music, Library of Congress

What got inducted into the National Recording Registry in 2020?

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The National Recording Registry (part of the Library of Congress) is billing this year’s list of inductees as the “ultimate stay at home playlist,” so if you need some tunes to get you through quarantine, look no further. You can see all 25 inductees here, but here are some of the highlights to show how wonderfully wide-ranging the list is: – “Mister Rogers Sings 21 Favorite Songs From ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ ” (album), Fred Rogers (1973) –“Y.M.C.A.” (single), Village People (1978) – “Fiddler on the Roof” (album), original Broadway cast (1964) – WGBH broadcast of the Boston Symphony on the day of the John F. Kennedy assassination, Boston Symphony Orchestra (1963) – “The Chronic” (album), Dr. Dre (1992) – “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh” (single), Allan Sherman (1963) The Library of Congress selected these titles from over 800 nominations to ensure that they’re preserved for future generations.
Asked by Francesca Feil in Instagram

What’s the “until tomorrow” challenge?

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The until tomorrow challenge is where someone posts a picture (or a gallery of pictures) to their main Instagram account that’s somewhat unflattering or silly, captioning it with some version of “until tomorrow.” They then keep track of who likes the picture. After 24 hours, they delete the photo and send a message to everyone who liked it saying they have to do the same thing. And so on. It popped up mid-March, and I doubt it will continue much longer, since everybody will soon know not to double tap any pics with this cryptic message attached.
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Asked by Laverna Zieme in Sound Waves

Why does everyone hate the sound of their own recorded voice?

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When you breath small vibrations in your cartilage create sound that you cant hear, these sounds are recorded on speakers. when the sound is emitted from the speaker it cancels out the same sound played back in a phenomenon called the reflex effect. because the sound waves are slightly distorted when they reach the speaker some of the inaudible sounds clash. other people don't hear the sounds because the sound travels through your sinuses. the clash of sounds makes a voice seem dry to the owner.
Asked by Randal Bernhard in Science, Medical Technologies

Given unlimited resources, what scientific or medical problem would you investigate?

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Leukemia. when I was 3 I had leukemia, and now when I go to hospitals I see little kids with it and my heart melts 'cause they don't know what's happening to their life. ;-;
Asked by Annamarie Trantow in United States Postal Service (USPS), History

Has a human ever been mailed via the United States Postal Service?

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Actually, yes. Shortly after parcel post was introduced in the early 1900s, several parents sent their small children though the mail. This was done with the help of sympathetic postal workers, most commonly over short distances in rural areas. And it was cost effective—in 1913, it cost just 15 cents to mail an 8-month-old baby to his grandmother. Before you get any big ideas, though, know that the fun came to an end in 1920 when the postmaster general officially outlawed sending people through the mail. How lame.
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Asked by Rodrigo Schoen in Gastroenterology, Health

Why do I sometimes feel nauseous when I'm really hungry?

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I feel you—I get that a lot, too. There are two likely answers. One is that your stomach produces excess acid when you’ve been ignoring your hunger for a while, and that acid can splash up into your esophagus and cause nausea. The other possibility is that you’re extra sensitive to ghrelin, the hormone our bodies make to alert us to our hunger. For some people, high levels of that hormone can make them slightly nauseous. If your nausea is severe, though, you should definitely talk to your doctor about it—it could be a sign of metabolic syndrome.
Asked by Enos Reichel in Brain, Neurology

Is it true that we only use 10 percent of our brains?

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Nope! Humans use their whole brains for a wide variety of functions. It’s unclear where this myth started, but it’s been proven false by numerous brain scans showing that the brain is in near-constant complete use. It is true, however, that only 10 percent of the cells in the brain are neurons; the other 90 percent are support cells called glial cells, but it’s not entirely clear what those are for. It’s also true that there are particular moments where you might only be using 10 percent of your brain, like if you’re sitting still and just daydreaming. But the idea that there’s 90 percent more intelligence tucked away in your grey matter somewhere, and if you could unlock it somehow you’d be the next Einstein—that’s a total myth.
Asked by Autumn Huels in Seasons, Meteorology and Weather, Astronomy, Spring

Does spring start a day early in 2020?

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In the United States, the vernal equinox, which signifies the start of astronomical spring in the northern hemisphere, actually happens on March 19, 20, or 21 each year. We haven’t had a March 19 equinox since 1896, and we won’t have a March 21 equinox until 2101. I say it marks the beginning of astronomical spring because meteorological spring (based on weather patterns) starts March 1. Astronomical spring is a little harder to explain. The Earth’s axis is always tilted at about 23 degrees, meaning that depending on where it is in its orbit, one hemisphere or the other is closer to the sun. The equinoxes (the vernal equinox in March and the autumnal equinox in September) mark the points in the orbit where neither hemisphere is tilted toward nor away from the sun, meaning day and night are nearly equal.
Asked by Rollin Wiegand in Astronauts, NASA, Space Travel and Exploration

How can I become an astronaut?

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The good news is, NASA is hiring! They want to get back to the moon by 2024, and they’ll need new astronauts to do it. The bad news is there are a limited number of jobs, and the qualifications are pretty intense. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, you also must have a master’s degree or two years of PhD work in specific STEM areas. You also qualify if you’re a medical doctor or if you’ve begun or completed a test pilot program. From there, you also need to fit into one of the areas of specialization (two years of biological and medical science, physical science, or engineering and operations work experience, or fit their pilot qualifications). And of course, you’ll have to be okay with the “extensive travel” required.
Asked by Darian Altenwerth in Saint Patrick's Day, Holidays and Traditions, Plants and Flowers

What’s the difference between a four-leaf clover and a shamrock?

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I guess I get where this can be confusing, because both are clovers, but it’s pretty clear: A shamrock has three leaves, and a four-leaf clover has, well, four. Though there are around 300 species of clover, a shamrock isn't one of them—in fact, it could be any of them. Any type of clover that typically has three leaves can be considered a shamrock. The shamrock is the main symbol of St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish because it’s supposedly what St. Patrick used to illustrate the concept of the Holy Trinity. Four-leaf clovers, on the other hand, are just freaks of nature in those same species of clover.
Asked in Lotteries

What would you do if you won the lottery?

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Buy a modest house in the country, get a decent used truck, start my own small business and devote it and all the rest of the money to helping to house the homeless, especially the younger and older...the most vulnerable of all the homeless in our society, and hope others would join me in the cause, because they're people just like everybody else, with their own stories, their own dreams, their own reasons for being homeless. They're NOT out on the streets just because they decided one day that it was a glamorous life!
Asked by Dell Herzog in Wrestling

What does Austin 3:16 mean?

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You didn’t miss a book of the Bible, don’t worry—it’s actually a professional wrestling quote. In fact, it’s one of the most influential phrases in wrestling history. On June 23, 1996, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin defeated Jake “The Snake” Roberts to win the World Wrestling Federation’s King of the Ring tournament. Austin was a defiant, brash villain; Roberts, once a villain like Austin, was now a sympathetic character and a born-again Christian. During his post-match interview, Austin made sure to rub it in Roberts’ face. “You sit there and you thump your Bible and you say your prayers, and it didn’t get you anywhere,” Austin said. “Talk about your psalms, talk about John 3:16—Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your a**.” Seems like simple wrestling trash talk by today’s standards, but in 1996, it resonated with a wrestling audience that had grown tired of the goody-two-shoes wrestlers that had headlined events since the ‘80s. Fan-made Austin 3:16 signs popped up in the crowd immediately, and Austin became an antihero; largely on the backs of edgy performers like Austin and The Rock, wrestling entered a new boom period in the late ‘90s; the Austin 3:16 shirt eventually became one of the best-selling wrestling shirts of all time.
Asked by Eldon Hilpert in Infectious Diseases, Public Health and Safety

How is an epidemic different from a pandemic?

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Epidemics are country-wide diseases. Pandemics are world-wide diseases.