Microbiologist Patricia Muños, head microbiologist at the Hospital Gregoria, answered questions about the coronavirus this Thursday.
How do you protect yourself from the virus?
The best way to protect yourself from the coronavirus is to maintain good hand hygiene and wash your hands with soap and water or use a disinfectant gel.
Should I wear a mask?
The use of masks is a good way to prevent someone already infected to infect other people. There is no need to wear masks out in the streets because they won’t prevent an infection. In the hospitals, where there are confirmed cases of the virus, we use special masks, not the type of surgical masks that are seen on streets and airports.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms are very similar to the flu. The only way to distinguish the coronavirus from the flu is a lab-test.
How serious is the coronavirus infection?
80% of the cases are mild and resolve themselves within a short time, 15% get moderate symptoms and 5% right now are serious. Most of the time, the infection goes away without treatment. The risk of dying from the coronavirus is very low.