Malaysia's First Health Portal

Health articles by our own editors

Started by a team of health enthusiasts from Malaysia who are committed to tell the truth about health and general well-being for the readers, we are the only health portal which is not commercially-oriented. When it comes to health, we are serious about delivering only the true and genuine information because good health is the birthright of every human being. With sound and updated knowledge on health, diseases and sickness can be reduced and even prevented. All our resources, articles and guides are specially hand-picked and written by our editors to benefit every reader.

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Covid-19 facts

Why is COVID-19 now a pandemic and not epidemic? What’s the difference?

A pandemic was declared because the situation has reached a dangerous level. A pandemic basically is an epidemic that has grown into a global level. As governments are declaring lockdowns across the world, it is no longer an epidemic.

Covid-19, The novel Coronavirus

Human and animal coronaviruses are actually different and it is not normal for animal coronaviruses to spread or infect humans.
This, however, has changed in recent years. When animal coronaviruses spread to humans, it has very serious effects like the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) which occurred in 2002 and 2012 respectively.

How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 virus can be easily spread with contaminated droplets from one human to another. This can come from sneezing or coughing as well as through touch especially on surfaces or objects. That is why people at large are strongly advised to wash their hands or use sanitizers frequently.

How long does it take for COVID-19 to develop in a human?

In most cases, it takes 5 to 6 days for the first symptoms to appear. This however varies and could be as early as 2 days or up to 15 days. That is why people who have been known to be in contact with any positive cases have been requested to practice self-isolation for 14 days at least. In most cases, the virus is known to spread from those with obvious symptoms and rarely before they manifest.

Does COVID-19 virus last long on surfaces touched by confirmed cases?

When the virus lands on a surface, they will most likely survive there like most other types of coronaviruses which are between a few hours to a few days. This is based on the research and findings based on other coronaviruses. However, the type of surface, air humidity, and other factors would affect this as well.

What are the symptoms of people infected with COVID-19?

The most common types of symptoms for COVID-19 are:

  • Runny nose or flu
  • Shortness of breath
  • fever

Besides that, other symptoms like coughing and sneezing are likely too. However, more serious cases might be threatening including severe acute respiratory distress-related pneumonia.

Is the COVID-19 the same as the common flu?

The only clear similarity between COVID-19 and the common flu is in the early symptoms. There will be sneezing and then leading to respiratory symptoms and fever. Meanwhile, the viruses are also transmitted through coughing and contact by hands or objects.
They are however not the same because the human immune system is currently unable to create antibodies for COVID-19 and that could lead to fatalities. Another major difference between flu and COVID-19 is the speed of transmission. Flu has a shorter incubation time frame which means it spreads faster as compared to COVID-19.

Do we know how long will COVID-19 last?

This varies. If you develop a mild case, it will be a few days and you would recover. But take note that the body has not developed antibodies for COVID-19 and as such, you can be REINFECTED with this. For more serious cases, it could last for weeks and could even cause death.

How do they diagnose COVID-19?

In most cases, they will take samples through your respiratory system. Swabs from the back of your nose, fluids from the lungs and throat would be taken and then sent for testing. This is usually done by the authorities or those sanctioned to carry out the tests. Not all clinics provide reliable testing for COVID-19 for now.

How can I prevent COVID-19?

The best way to prevent COVID-19 is to practice self-hygiene and social distancing.

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap for at least 20 seconds
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers
  • When sneezing or coughing, cover your nose and mouth. You might not want to use palms but your elbow or tissue.
  • minimize handshakes and hugs for now

Is there a cure for COVID-19?

As of Mar 17 2020, No. But they are now racing against time to find one. There have been cases of patients recovering from COVID-19 but no one is immune.

Where and how do I get tested for COVID-19?

Be very clear that only authorized medical centers can test you for COVID-19. Most governments would have mobilized a special team who will be treating patients and people who have symptoms.

What does it mean to be in self-isolation?

When you self-isolate, you are distancing yourself away from people to minimize their risk. You might not be a positive COVID-19 case but this precautionary step is necessary. You should not have visitors to your home.
If you have family members living with you, minimizing contact with them would be ideal. This means you should only have face-to-face contact at a 2-meter distance of not more than 15 minutes. They do not need to self-isolate if not necessary.
NEVER share eating utensils and wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.

Is it safe to go to a hospital with positive COVID-19 cases?

No, it is not. If you do not have symptoms, you should not go to any place you know have positive COVID-19 cases.

I have a planned trip overseas, should I cancel or postpone?

Yes, you should change your traveling plans as further away as possible.

Can I request to be tested for COVID-19?

At the moment, there are no such provisions by medical authorities or health centers. There is no point in risking yourself going to COVID-19 hospitals. If you have symptoms, call the authorities or practice self-isolation before proceeding further.