Q&A

Transmission II

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False - Mostly False - Partially True - Mostly True - True

Q. Should I have my windows closed to prevent COVID-19 infection?

False. According to the 5 main COVID-19 preventive measures by the ‘COVID-19 Countermeasures Committee’ and ‘Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (KCDC)’, indoor ventilation is greatly emphasized[1][2]. Although China’s National Health Commission formally added the possibility of airborne transmission through aerosols, it is limited to the long-term exposure to the high concentration of aerosols within a closed area[3].

Q. Can I get infected through products from countries with COVID-19 cases such as China?

Mostly False. According to the WHO, even if the COVID-19 virus can survive on an object’s surface for hours~days, it is unlikely to persist on the surface as it is exposed to various environments and temperatures while shipping[1]. Moreover, if the surface of an object is deemed contaminated, it is advised to clean it with a disinfectant and to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water[1]. CDC also clarified that there is no evidence on import goods transmitting COVID-19[2]. 

Q. Young Adults with strong immunity are unlikely to get COVID-19?

False. According to the Severance Hospital’s Division of Infectious Diseases expert, “COVID-19 is a novel virus. That is, no one has been exposed to this virus thus nobody would be immune. Therefore, people can be infected regardless of age”[1][2]. The WHO has also mentioned that the elderly or those with underlying diseases are more susceptible to infection, but COVID-19 infection is possible at all ages[2]. 

Q. Can COVID-19 be spread by mosquitoes?

Mostly False. The WHO has stated that no data or evidence supports the idea that mosquitoes can spread COVID-19. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease virus with the infectee’s droplets as the main path of infection through cough, sneeze, or saliva[1]. 

Q. What is the risk of COVID-19 infection on an
airplane?

The CDC stated that considering the circulation method and filtering on an airplane, viruses and germs do not spread easily. Therefore, although the risk of infection is low, it is advised to avoid contact with any sick person and to frequently wash hands with soap for more than 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer containing 60-95% alcohol[1]. 

Q. What is the difference between airborne infection and droplet infection? 

According to a Infectious Diseases specialist, an airborne infection occurs when the virus exhaled by a patient flows through the air to infect others without having the patient’s secretion come in direct contact. A droplet infection happens to someone who has direct contact with a patient’s secretion[1][2]. Airborne infections are not confirmed in the case of COVID-19. It is known to spread through droplet infections[1][2]. 

Q. Are restaurant utensils safe to use?

Mostly True. According to the data from the Ministry of the Interior and Safety reviewed by Soon Chun Hyang University Hospital’s specialist in respiratory allergies, sterilization of utensils at a high temperature is effective in killing the virus. If a spoon is properly cleaned, there is no need risk of contracting COVID-19[1][2]. However, you should be attentive to symptoms if you have visited the site before the sterilization after an infectee’s visit has been made[3]. Moreover, it is advised to avoid sharing a glass of water or a bowl of soup[4][5].

Q. Risk of COVID-19 infection from drinking-water?

Mostly False. According to the CDC, COVID-19 has not been detected in drinking water[1]. The municipal drinking water systems in most cities use water treatment methods with filtration and disinfection that can remove or inactivate the COVID-19 virus[1].

Q. Can you get relapsed/reinfected to COVID-19?

According to the KCDC’s February 29, 2020, regular briefing, the 73-year-old once ‘cured’ patient (25th infectee) was diagnosed with COVID-19 again[1]. The director of the Central Disinfection Countermeasure Headquarters said, ”Weakened immunity with old age seems to have led to relapse”[1]. Gill hospital’s Division of Infectious Diseases expert added that “There is a possibility of ‘relapse’ of the previous virus and ‘reinfection’ from someone after leaving the hospital”[2]. There is no accurate diagnostic criteria or sufficient data on the virus so it is difficult to determine whether it is relapse or reinfection, but such cases are increasing and the Central Disinfection Countermeasure Headquarters are reviewing the preventive measures (setting full-recovery criteria, the need for self-quarantine after recovery)[1].

Q. Is it risky to go to a funeral for someone who died of COVID-19?

Defer Judgement. According to the CDC of the U.S., there is currently no known risk related to being in the same place at a funeral with the body of someone who died of COVID-19[1]. Moreover, transmission through physical contact with the body of someone lacks evidence[1]. However, considering that COVID-19 viruses can survive on an object’s surface to some degree, the American CDC advises not to touch the body[1].

Q. Can I get infected by swimming pool water?

Mostly False. This is a description of the coronaviruses and may differ from the actual characteristics of COVID-19. Since swimming pool water is sterilized with chlorine[1], it is hard to get infected by coronaviruses[2][3]. However, you still can get infected in locker rooms where not many people wear masks, and from remaining droplets on tables and lockers[4]. Therefore it is recommended to restrain from visiting swimming pools[3].

© 2020 created by 연세대학교 (Yonsei Univ.) 고등교육혁신원 (IHEI) - ARMS & SaChoom       

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