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Coronavirus • Contagion, Symptoms & Treatment

The corona virus from China has now reached Germany. The first case was officially confirmed by the authorities on January 28, and there is another "reasoned suspicion". How dangerous is the situation and which protective measures make sense to minimize the risk of the virus being processed?

Experts do not consider wearing a mouthguard to be sensible due to the first case of coronavirus in Germany.
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After the first confirmed coronavirus case in Germany, there is a second suspected case in Berlin.

At a glance:

First coronavirus case in Germany

On January 28th the first coronavirus case in Germany was confirmed. The 33-year-old coronavirus patient contracted a woman who is visiting China from Germany on business. The Robert Koch Institute states that this is the first case of human-to-human coronavirus transmission outside of Asia. The person affected from the Starnberg district is currently being medically monitored in Munich. The treating doctor Prof. Dr. Clemens Wendtner from the Schwabing Clinic explained on the morning of January 28th that the patient was free from fever, had no respiratory symptoms, was responsive and was out of danger.

Close contact persons of the patient were identified and medically informed about the virus. They were advised to stay at home first and have any symptoms examined. The first coronavirus case in Germany triggers many uncertainties among the population.

There may be another case in Berlin. A woman who is said to have been in China shows typical symptoms. The patient has been isolated and the case is now under investigation.

How high do experts rate the danger of the corona virus for the German population?

How dangerous is the corona virus for Germany?

Dr. Zapf, head of the Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety, explains that with the only case confirmed so far, no reliable statement can be made about the danger to Bavaria or Germany. In view of the deaths in China, however, a certain risk cannot be ruled out. A more precise assessment is only possible with an accumulation of coronavirus infections. Despite all security measures, further infections could not be ruled out, which is a natural consequence of the progressive networking of the world, said Zapf.

Experts from the Robert Koch Institute currently assess the risk for the German population as low, but considers the import of individual cases and individual transmissions of the virus to be possible.

Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn also explains the situation as relatively harmless and emphasizes that one is well prepared for further possible infections.

Spread of the corona virus

The virus is generally still relatively unexplored. It is therefore unclear how quickly the virus could spread in Germany and how dangerous an infection could actually be. However, it is known that the pathogen can cause pneumonia with bilateral lung infiltrates, which can be fatal in some cases. However, the disease can also be mild and almost asymptomatic.

So far, the deaths have been almost entirely restricted to people with a weakened immune system, i.e. those with previous illnesses and the elderly. In principle, this should be seen as positive. But if Conoravirus infections often go undetected due to mild or lack of symptoms, this also means a higher risk of spread. It is currently assumed that an infected person infects about two to three other people. This is also due to the relatively long incubation period. It may take up to one to 14 days for the first symptoms to appear after infection with the Conoravirus.

4500 cases of infected people are officially known worldwide; according to experts, around 110,000 people could actually be affected. So far, more than 100 people have died in China. Most infections are concentrated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, from where the coronavirus originally spread. The virus was transmitted to humans from wild animals sold at a market.

Protective measures: How can the risk of infection be minimized?

Dr. Martin Hoch, head of the "Task Force Infectiology" of the State Office for Health and the Robert Koch Institute declares the following protective measures to be sensible in order to minimize the risk of infection of the coronavirus:

  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly

  • Avoid contact with obviously sick people

  • Ventilate regularly

  • no trips to the central Chinese province of Hubei, in whose capital Wuhan the virus was first transmitted to humans in late 2019. The Federal Foreign Office also recommends generally postponing unnecessary trips to China.

On the other hand, experts currently consider wearing a mouthguard not to be sensible or necessary for the German population.

What symptoms of coronavirus infection?

The symptoms of an infection with the coronavirus are largely similar to those of a flu infection. High fever can occur with a generally strong feeling of illness. How can an infection with the corona virus be distinguished from a flu infection? The conoravirus is characterized by severe breathing difficulties with cough and shortness of breath, since the infection mainly affects the airways and, in the worst case, triggers kidney failure or pneumonia, which in a few isolated cases is fatal.

As soon as the symptoms described are present, direct or indirect contact with the Wuhan region is considered an indication of a possible coronavirus infection. Especially returning travelers from China and their caregivers should have flu-like symptoms clarified.

Coronavirus infection diagnosis

It is only sensible to test people for an infection when symptoms appear, as otherwise it may be wrongly negative

In order to detect the Conoravirus, smears from the upper airways and material from the lower airways are examined using DNA sequencing (polymerase chain reaction, or PCR for short).

Treatment for coronavirus infection

A specific therapy against infection with the Conoravirus does not yet exist. Treatment of a Conoravirus infection is therefore limited to relieving symptoms depending on their severity. Above all, a fever that is easy to treat is possible. If the pulmonary pathways are severely impaired, intensive medical surveillance is sometimes necessary.

Telephone hotline for questions about the corona virus

Those who are unsure or fear they have contracted the virus can call the Conoravirus hotline of the Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety (LGL) on the phone number 09131/6808 to 5101 Ask questions.

The Berlin Health Administration can also be reached by concerned citizens between 08:00 and 20:00 on 030 90282828.

Safety while traveling: here there is a risk of infection

Safety while traveling: here there is a risk of infection
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