COVID-19/Novel coronavirus

After months of the current global novel coronavirus(COVID-19) global pandemic, I know that a lot of parents and their children may be getting tired of all the restrictions that have been imposed in an effort to contain this new virus. I have created this page of frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and related issues. I will be adding more as I get new questions so please keep coming back. I will also be posting useful COVID-19-related links.


QUESTION: What are coronaviruses?
ANSWER: Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). Some coronaviruses transmit easily from person to person, while others do not. There is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 coronavirus globally.

QUESTION: How is COVID-19 spread from person to person?
ANSWER: Like many other respiratory viruses, COVID-19 is spread from person to person through droplets that are spread while talking, sneezing, breathing out, and coughing. These droplets can travel for up to 6 feet or 2 meters. If a person is closer than that an infected person then the virus can spread directly in the droplets. This is called direct transmission or spread. If the droplets land on a surface and one touches the surface with their hands and then touches their face, the virus can also spread that way. This is called indirect spread which is now thought to occur much less frequently than the direct(person-to-person) transmission of the virus.

QUESTION: What are the symptoms of COVID-19 infection?
ANSWER: The most common symptoms of COVID-19 infection are fever, cough difficulty breathing, and loss of the ability to smell. Of course, there are other symptoms as well. These

  • sore throat;
  • difficulty swallowing;
  • runny, stuffy, or congested nose (not related to seasonal allergies or other known causes or conditions);
  • headache that is unusual or long-lasting;
  • digestive issues (nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain);
  • muscle aches;
  • extreme fatigue or lack of energy;
  • for young children and infants: sluggishness or lack of appetite

QUESTION: If one is exposed to the COVID-19 virus, how long after do symptoms appear(the incubation period)?
ANSWER: On average, it takes between 5 and 7 days for symptoms to appear following exposure to the virus. However, the incubation period can be as long as 14 days.

QUESTION: Is there a treatment for COVID-19 infections?
ANSWER: There is no specific treatment for most people with COVID-19 infection and most people will recover on their own. Your healthcare provider may recommend steps you can take to relieve symptoms. However, tragically the elderly and peopled of any age with chronic medical conditions can suffer serious complications including difficulty breathing requiring hospitalization, being placed on a ventilator in an Intensive care unit, and/or even death.

QUESTION: Can COVID-19 infection cause other problems other than respiratory complications?
ANSWER: Aside from severe pneumonia and respiratory difficulties, COVID-19 has now been linked to complications outside of the lungs. These include stroke, heart attacks,  kidney failure, and increased clotting of the blood. More recently a condition called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome has been reported in children and young adults.

QUESTION: Children can become stressed and anxious during the pandemic. How can we address this with our kids?

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Pediatrician DR.PAUL Roumeliotis is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The information provided above is designed to be an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace the advice and care of your child’s physician, nor is it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you suspect that your child has a medical condition always consult a physician.