An. Kotanidou: Answers to critical questions about the coronavirus



We may be in lockdown again, but with the degree of positivity in the community being at an all-time high, the chances of being infected with SARS-CoV-2 are higher than ever. So what do we do when we come in contact with case? What do we do when we become the next case? How do we protect those around us and how do we protect ourselves? Has anything changed from what we have known since last spring? We asked Ms. Anastasia Kotanidou, Professor of Pulmonology and Intensive Care at the University of Athens and Director of the ICU of Evangelismos, for answers to these and other equally vital questions overnight. which was carried out by telephone and which was interrupted several times as the duty called her. What exactly are we facing this time? ”In the current phase of the second wave of the pandemic, the virus seems to be more easily transmitted than the first. Europe is dominated by a strain which, thanks to a mutation, appears to have increased transmissibility and is associated with reduced mortality. Although the second characteristic is more theoretical at the moment… In any case, it is a virus that is transmitted very easily “. Has anything changed in what we know about the way it is transmitted?” No. But we need to realize how easy it is to get infected with SARS-CoV-2. It is transmitted through aerosols which are produced as we talk, breathe, sing. We all emit aerosols with speech, some less and some more. In other words, this virus is transmitted by respiratory droplets. If one wants, one can easily find out by placing a mirror a short distance from one’s mouth while speaking. You will be surprised to see how many droplets will be stuck in the mirror! This is the reason for the recommendations that insist on keeping distance, generalized use of the mask and hand hygiene. You do not need to do anything magical to prevent the virus from catching you: as long as you follow these simple instructions, which become even more important now that the weather is forcing us to spend more time indoors. “Without the protection of the mask, 20 minutes indoors are enough to become infected if there is a carrier of the virus next to us or in front of us.” Suppose we are informed that we have come in contact with a positive case. What do we do then? Are we going to be examined? So should we do a PCR test? The test is recommended when someone has come in contact with a case without precaution and is not able to enter quarantine. That is, if after such contact one can remain isolated in his home for 14 days there is no reason to go to be examined. It is worth noting here that if in contact with the case the distances have been kept and a mask has been used, the chances of someone becoming infected are greatly reduced. ”Suppose someone shows symptoms of a virus. What does he do in this case? “In any virus, it is good for the patient to be isolated in order to protect his family members and of course his caregivers to take appropriate measures to avoid infection. That is, to wear a mask, to wash their hands thoroughly, to ventilate the patient’s room, to keep as far as possible. Of course, when there are symptoms, the test will show if it is COVID-19 or another virus. “What are the most common symptoms in COVID-19?” The vast majority of people who will get SARS after infection -CoV-2 shows fever. He can even be tall, that is, thirty-nine or forty. Misery and payment are also characteristic symptoms of the disease which occur with great frequency. In smaller percentages of patients there is anosmia, headache, diarrhea. Young children often have a sore throat. ”So if we have symptoms and the PCR test is positive, what do we do? Do we inform our doctor? Our contacts? “The tracking and updating of the contacts of the cases is done, in any case, by the competent ones. We, as a confirmed case, stay at home so as not to put others at risk, protect our family members by remaining isolated, inform our doctor and follow his instructions. “What will the doctor recommend? Do we need other special tests, such as a chest x-ray? “Most patients will have a mild illness and will just need to stay home and take the usual antipyretic and analgesic medications. It is also recommended to drink plenty of fluids to treat discomfort. There is no need for X-rays, CT scans or anything else. It only takes patience and effort to manage the symptoms. “How long can the fever last?” There is no fixed period. The fever usually lasts for a week, but it can last up to 10 or even 14 days. ”Even when the fever lasts for a long time, shouldn’t we be upset? When should one go to the hospital? “The duration of the fever is not a sign that we should be taken to the hospital. The worrying symptom is difficulty breathing. “If there is an oximeter in the house, a device that measures oxygen saturation, a measurement below 94% is a reason for hospitalization.” Compared to the beginning of the pandemic, has it become easier to manage patients’ symptoms in hospitals? of the first wave – both ours and that of our colleagues internationally – indeed allows us to deal with the disease more effectively. ” What do you expect from drugs in clinical trials? “There are drugs that look promising, but their effectiveness is directly related to the time they are given: the faster they are given in the course of the disease, the more effective they are.” For this reason I will not tire of repeating that the best “medicine” is prevention “. Follow it on Google News and be the first to know all the news See all the latest news from Greece and the world, at



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