Inside Covid19: The 10 Mysterious Things You've Never Heard Of


1. Young, healthy people are not invulnerable

The most at-risk populations for dying from COVID-19 are older individuals and those with chronic conditions, but young people can also develop infections from the virus. In some cases, young people are more likely to be infected than older people. In addition, young people without chronic conditions may still have disease severe enough for hospitalisation, and additional long-term effects of COVID-19 may be discovered over time.

2. We shouldn’t panic about contaminated surfaces

The studies that found how long the covid-19 virus could last on different surfaces led to people being worried that they could get the virus by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching their face. However, it is now thought that although this could potentially happen, it is not the main way that the virus is usually transmitted. Even though it may seem like respiratory droplets from an infected person's sneezes or coughs couldn't land on our hands, hand-washing and hand sanitising is still important.

3. The virus can be airborne

Although it was initially unclear whether or not the covid-19 virus could be spread via airborne particles, a growing number of infectious disease researchers have found evidence that it can indeed be spread in this way. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week that although respiratory droplets are the main method of transmitting COVID-19, the virus could also be spread through airborne particles that can linger in the air for hours. They recommend that people stay out of crowded indoor spaces and that enclosed spaces have good ventilation to avoid airborne transmission.

4. People can be infected more than once

There have been a few reports of people getting infected with the virus again, even after recovering. Although this is a very small number compared to the total amount of people who have been infected, it's possible that there are even more cases of re-infection that have gone unreported.

5. Heat and humidity don’t protect against the virus

This theory was popular when it seemed like places like India and Africa were not hit as badly by Covid-19 as Europe and the USA. However, the spiraling epidemic in India alone has discredited that notion, as the country now has 6.7 million cases and 100,000 people have died. The virus also spread widely during Europe’s summer, making it clear that although the virus is killed within a few minutes of sunlight, heat and humidity alone are not enough to reduce its ferocity.

6. Children can spread the virus

Since children generally don't have Covid-19 symptoms as often as adults, it was not clear at the start of the pandemic how much of a role children were playing in the spread of the virus. A study of 85,000 people and 600,000 of their contacts in India, published in Science, has since shown conclusively that children of all ages can become infected and can spread it to other people.

7. Super-spreaders are a major threat

There is a growing trend of super-spreading events, where one infected person can transmit the disease to many others, sometimes hundreds of people. For example, over 100 people can be infected from shaking hands with one infected person at a conference. A study in India showed that super-spreaders are a clear phenomenon - just 5 percent of people accounted for 80 percent of the infections.

8. People can develop ‘long COVID’

It's been found that many people who contract covid-19 go on to develop long covid, where they experience symptoms even after the initial illness has passed. It appears to be twice as common in women, but the reason for this is unclear. Long covid is a global phenomenon, but it's not being properly monitored as most surveillance systems only track the number of cases and deaths. At a panel discussion hosted by the British Medical Journal, it was called for better investigation of people with enduring symptoms.

9. People of colour are at higher risk in some countries

COVID-19 has exposed the structural disadvantages faced by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people who have suffered disproportionately from the virus in many western countries. In the UK for instance, people from BAME backgrounds constitute 17% of the population but are three times more likely to die than people from non-BAME backgrounds. A study has found that job type, not genetics, is the reason why black and minority ethnic (BAME) people are more likely to die from coronavirus. The increased risk of death is due to the fact that BAME people are more likely to have jobs that put them at the frontline of the pandemic, such as healthcare workers, bus drivers, security guards, chefs, shop assistants or factory workers. Racism and discrimination have also contributed to the increased risk of death.

10. Fake news and misinformation can be dangerous

Fake news is a problem because it can make people not want to follow the advice of experts about how to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus. For example, some people believe that the pandemic is not as serious as governments say it is, and so they do not want to wear face masks or follow other precautions.

Source: https://www.gavi.org/vaccineswork/10-things-we-have-now-learned-about-covid-19

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