Should I wear a mask?

Yes. When going outside, please wear a mask.

In a pandemic such as this, when outside, we must assume that we are all potentially infectious and protect those around us from getting infected. That is what wearing a mask does, and if everyone in a society does so, then the risk of infection decreases significantly and infection rate decreases. Cities and regions that have instituted mandatory mask wearing in public have seen significant declines in new infections. Masks work, so please wear one.

Can I get Coronavirus from someone without any symptoms?

Yes. Asymptomatic spread is a common and important source of transmission. So the answer is that yes, it is possible that someone with very mild or no noticeable symptoms can transmit coronavirus.

Can I get Coronavirus from stool?

It is unlikely. The virus doesn’t survive the gastrointesinal tract well.

Can my baby get Coronavirus from me?

The Coronavirus has so far not been detected in amniotic fluid, cord blood, neonatal throat swab or breast milk.

Can I get Coronavirus from a pet?

No. But, if you have a confirmed or suspected coronavirus infection, please give someone else the task of caring for your pets or livestock.

Is there a cure for coronavirus?

No, There is no cure. In most cases, the body’s immune system eventually overcomes the virus. However, there currently is no medical cure. There is supportive treatment for people with severe illness and it is much more effective if symptomatic patients seek care early. Supportive care consists of close monitoring, hydration, oxygen support, steroids and in severe cases respiratory assistance using a mechanical ventilator. There has been evidence of success with the use of monoclonal antibodies as well as the anti-viral medication, Remdesivir.

Is there a vaccine?

Yes. there are numerous vaccines approved for use against the coronavirus. In less than 18 months, the scientific community has managed to develop highly effective vaccines to prevent vaccinated people from developing COVID. Please visit our vaccine page for a detailed explanation of COVID vaccines and where to get them in Kenya..

Can I treat Coronavirus with Antibiotics?

No. The coronavirus is not treated by antibiotics. There is some evidence that a combination of anti-viral medication and corticosteroids can improve outcomes in people with severe COVID. there has also been some evidence that monoclonal antibodies are effective to prevent progression of severe disease.

Can I treat Coronavirus with Antiretrovirals?

No. There is no evidence that treating COVID19 with antiretrovirals has any impact. As of today, there is no medical treatment for COVID19 other than supportive treatment. That being said, if symptomatic patients seek care early, supportive treatment is very effective.

Is Coronavirus Airborne?

The Coronavirus is spread through droplets released when coughing or sneezing. Most of those droplets are quite large and rapid fall to the ground or surfaces. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that some of those droplets are very tiny and can linger in the air for minutes to hours. Guidelines differ as to whether or not airborne precautions should be implemented by healthcare workers, but airborne precautions are not recommended at this point.

What Will Happen if I get infected?

You will most likely be fine. Please remember that most people who are infected with the coronavirus recover quickly. A small percentage require hospitalization and an even smaller percentage require intensive care. 

If you are an Antara member and have symptoms or have been exposed to a suspected or confirmed Coronavirus case, call your Health Navigator and we will make sure you get to the right place.

Non-members should CALL the following number BEFORE heading to a health facility:

0729 471 414, 0732 353 535 or toll free @ 0800 721 316

By the time one is coughing after being infected by the coronavirus, how much damage has it caused to human lungs? How long does it take to get better?

Symptoms of coronavirus infection can begin 2-14 days after a person is exposed to the virus. Most people who develop symptoms begin to have those symptoms 4-6 days after exposure.

For most people, symptoms last about 2 weeks but for people with severe (requiring hospitalization and oxygen support) or critical disease (requiring intensive care unit support and mechanical ventilation), recovery time is closer to 3-6 weeks.

Most people with infection do not have any long-lasting damage done to their lungs at all. Of the small number of people that require mechanical ventilation as a result of COVID19, a small percentage of them do appear to have significant lung tissue scarring.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 majority tend to suffer from common cold and coughs(flu- )which appears to be the sign of COVID -19 how can we term this or do we have the virus with us but now our immune system is battling it out.

This is a great question. Since most people have never been exposed to the novel (meaning new) Coronavirus (SARS-CoV2), once they are exposed to the virus, their bodies do not have any antibodies that would help them prevent an infection from establishing itself. So, what then happens is that the virus infects the lungs and the body starts to fight the virus by mounting an immune response. The body’s response to this new virus is what causes an infected person to experience fever and some of the other symptoms such as fatigue and joint pains. Since the battleground between the virus and a person’s immune system is mostly in the lungs, that is why coughing and difficulty breathing are also very common symptoms. Think about it as the damage that happens to a field during a battle there. No matter who wins the battle, the grass suffers and there is lots of noise and smoke. Fortunately, the noise stops and the smoke clears, and almost always, the grass grows back. This is the case for the majority of people who get coronavirus and have symptoms.

There are some other symptoms that some people with COVID19 patients experience. Up to 30% of people with coronavirus lose their sense of taste (dysgeusia) and lose their sense of smell (anosmia). Of note, most people with COVID19 do not get a runny nose and congestion because the infection is mostly one of the lower respiratory tract (lungs).

But, for the most part, the symptoms of COVID19 are very similar to the symptoms of the common cold and the flu. The only way to figure out if a person has a cold, the flu or the coronavirus is by doing a test, which for now are only available for specific patients in Kenya.

More than 80% of people with COVID19 have mild symptoms and then recover, presumably with some level of immunity to prevent reinfection from happening. This recovery happens because the body’s immune system is able to contain and eliminate the virus. Here is where the similarities between COVID19 and the flu stop. Up to 15% of people with COVID19 require some level of supportive care in a hospital. For the common flu, that number is 1-2%.

What are the chances of recovery should someone get it? Everyone is telling us how not to get it but what happens no one is talking about what to do when you get it.

The chances of recovery from COVID are very, very good. Most people recover with no long lasting effects. In fact, more than 80% of people recover after having only mild symptoms.

Of the remaining 15% that have severe symptoms, 10% require only a short stay in the hospital and some supplemental oxygen to make sure their bodies are receiving the oxygen required to contain and control the virus. That being said, approximately 4% of people do require mechanical ventilation to survive. Mechanical ventilation is necessary when you are no longer able to breathe effectively on your own. Most of the people in the world that have required both supplemental oxygen and mechanical ventilation have had underlying risk factors. \We think the common risk factors are:

  1. Age greater than 60
  2. Underlying cardiovascular conditions (High Blood Pressure, history of heart attack or stroke)
  3. Underlying immune disorders (HIV, history of cancer treatment,)
  4. Diabetes
  5. Obesity

It is still unclear what impact underlying rates of HIV, TB infection and malnutrition in many African countries will have.

Even with these relatively high rates of hospitalization, more than 95% of people who get infected with the coronavirus recover without complications. Of those without any need for hospitalization, there do not appear to be any long term effects of coronavirus infection and there is no evidence that lung scarring is a problem. For those that recover after requiring brief supportive care and oxygen support, it also appears that there is no evidence of long-term scarring. For those people who do require mechanical ventilation, there is evidence that lung scarring can be a problem. At this point it is unclear if that is as a direct result of the viral infection, or a result of the need for mechanical ventilation itself.

If you think you have coronavirus infection because you have any of the following:

  1. Contact with confirmed or suspected COVID19 case
  2. Fever, cough and difficulty breathing

Please call the following HOTLINE NUMBER: 0800721316 (toll free), 0729471414, 0732353535 and inform them of the symptoms you are having.

If you have any underlying risk factors (listed above), please let the team members know so they can take appropriate measures. The people responsible for the COVID19 response in Kenya will then decide whether your symptoms history warrants a test. If so, they will arrange for you to receive a test and be potentially transferred to an isolation facility where you can be properly cared for and monitored.

If you don’t meet criteria for a test, please plan on self-quarantining for 14 days and make sure that you know who you will call if your symptoms get worse, especially your respiratory effort (how hard it is to breathe). Call early, please do not wait until you are having worsening difficulty breathing to seek care.

If you are having symptoms, try as best as possible to isolate yourself from other members of your household and wear a mask if you must come into contact with them at a distance less than 2 meters. The mask is to protect your family members from getting infected if you cough or sneeze. Wash hands frequently and try to minimize the amount of times you touch common surfaces in the home (ie: door knobs, kitchen counters etc.). If you are having symptoms and must go out of the house, please wear a mask to protect others.

Don’t panic. Remember that the overwhelming majority of people who are infected get better on their own and the overwhelming majority of people that require hospitalizations also get better.

Did this answer your question?