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An article with the title "questions that still have no answers" may seem strange, but when it comes to the new coronavirus, it is important to know what has not yet been proven, so as not to risk believing fake news.
In the case of a relatively new virus, it is difficult for researchers and scientists to say how it works, as well as if we can contract more than once or if we are immune to contracting ... These and other doubts are in people's heads and, Unfortunately, many of these cling to the lies told, just to satisfy the need to be sure of everything.
For this reason, talking about the new coronavirus requires great care and that is what specialists have to do just because they do not state "with absolute certainty" any new information they discover about the disease.
According to BBC News Brazil, the main questions related to Covid-19 are about immunity. So, let's move on to the most common questions about this and other aspects of the disease, with a brief explanation of why the respective answers to many questions do not yet exist.
The 10 unanswered questions about the coronavirus
- How are we immune to the new coronavirus?
- Is it possible to catch Covid-19 twice?
- Why are immunity and prevention important?
- Where did the new coronavirus come from?
- Is the coronavirus transmitted by other body fluids?
- Can I bring the virus home with my shoes on?
- At what temperature does the virus die?
- How long does the virus last on surfaces?
- How does the virus react in young people?
- What is the cure for Covid-19?
1.How are we immune to the new coronavirus?
Our immune system is the natural weapon we have against invading pathogens that try to weaken us, but that system is not specific to the new coronavirus. We need an adaptive immune response, which is when cells produce targeted antibodies that can attach to the virus to stop it from multiplying, as well as T cells that can attack only cells infected by the virus.
According to some studies, the time period for the body to start producing these antibodies is approximately 10 days. If the adaptive immune response is strong enough, it can create a lasting memory of the infection, which it will protect in the future.
That is, everything indicates that if the person has mild symptoms or no symptoms, they may not develop this sufficient immune response. Still, there is no scientific evidence on this. What is known today is that: all cured patients developed antibodies.
2. Is it possible to get Covid-19 twice?
Although there are reports of people who have contracted coronavirus more than once, the scientific consensus says that the problem may be related to the tests. That's because no one, other than monkeys, was reinfected to test for immunity.
Virologists and infectologists are studying the fact that some people have higher levels of antibodies to the disease and possibly become resistant to a new infection.
However, not all antibodies behave the same. Those that adhere to the coronavirus and can prevent infection of other cells are the neutralizers. Although they are in the body, if the amount is low, you will not be able to handle the immunization and even if you have antibodies, that does not mean that you cannot transmit the virus.
3. Why are immunity and prevention important?
In addition to making any disease less dangerous, immunity determines how many times it will be contracted and how long it will take to get out of it. However, this varies greatly from person to person and we have no way of knowing for sure who is more or less susceptible to the disease.
That is why it is so important to maintain confinement. This will give researchers time to develop not only the appropriate vaccine, but also to learn the best way to prevent the spread of the virus.
In addition to questions related to immunity, doubts about the origin of the virus, behavior at high temperatures and even if it is transmitted by sex, are on the list of questions not yet clarified about Covid-19.
UOL has published some of them and since we don't have the answers yet, we will know what the interviewed doctors, biologists and researchers say on the subject.
4. Where did the new coronavirus come from?
We know that the first case of Covid-19 occurred in a live animal market in Wuhan, a province of China, but researchers have not yet been able to confirm how that person contracted the virus. What they do know is that Sars-Cov-2 is similar to the bat coronavirus. However, to date there has been nothing that can be documented to support this theory.
In the cases of Mers and Sars, it is known that there was an intermediary between humans and bats, but it is not known which animal specifically did this intermediation.
A study confirmed the impossibility of creating or modifying the new virus in the laboratory. But America is
investigating the possibility that Sars-Cov-2 has accidentally escaped from a Wuhan laboratory.
5. Is the coronavirus transmitted by other body fluids?
In addition to respiratory secretions, it is known that the virus can be present in blood and feces, but that does not mean that the contamination was caused by oral fecal transmission, according to experts. The only thing they claim is that there is no evidence that anal, vaginal or penile secretions transmit the new coronavirus.
6.Can I bring the virus home in my shoes?
Taking off your shoes when entering the house is an effective hygiene measure, but not only because of the coronavirus and not only because of the sole of the shoe, but also because of the upper part of it. This is because contaminated drops can fall onto the surface of the shoe (but to become infected, these contaminated drops need to get into the eyes, mouth or nose).
In the case of the new coronavirus, it is recommended to remove your shoes when entering the house and, if possible, wash them to avoid contact with other objects in the house. The same goes for clothing and accessories used on the street, not forgetting to wash your hands thoroughly after handling them or even shower to ensure decontamination.
7. At what temperature does the virus die?
There is also no precise answer to this question, but the researchers suggest that high temperatures (above 90ºC) are capable of eliminating any type of virus, just like sterilizations.
The only statement so far is that the new coronavirus is more adaptable to lower temperatures. However, we saw that even in Brazil, which has a tropical climate, its spread has been very high. So this information is a bit dubious.
8. How long does the virus last on surfaces?
Studies indicate that the coronavirus can last up to four hours on copper surfaces, 24 on cardboard, 48 hours on stainless steel, and 72 hours on plastic.
9. How does the virus react in young people?
This is another question that is impossible to answer, since a 26-year-old man who practiced physical activity died of the disease, in addition to several others who died in the course of this pandemic. This is another reason infectious disease doctors say it is necessary to study how the virus behaves.
10. What is the cure for Covid-19?
Until now, there is no drug or vaccine capable of eliminating or preventing the new coronavirus. Namely, the cure for Covid-19 doesn't exist yet, but doctors, biologists, and researchers around the world are studying hard to find out.
That is why it is so important to avoid contact with other people, as well as with places that we do not know if they are contaminated or not. The best way to prevent Covid-19 is to stay home and maintain personal hygiene by washing your hands well and using alcohol gel.
To go even deeper into the topic, watch the following BBC video, stay tuned and #FiqueEmCasa
By Eliane Oliveira. Article in Portuguese