#YoMeCorono is an initiative that channels solidarity with research on COVID-19. Thanks to your contributions, we develop new vaccines, investigate treatments and detection tests, study persistent COVID and face the future challenges posed by the virus.
Since the #YoMeCorono initiative was launched, More than 75.000 people and institutions from all corners of Europe have made their contribution in solidarity. Thanks to the fact that they "have been crowned", the research team led by Dr. Bonaventura Clotet has done scientific advances in a few months that under normal circumstances would have taken years. The virulence of this pandemic it requires quick solutions that can only be found thanks to contributions like yours.
We help you solve some of the most frequent doubts about the coronavirus. If you cannot find the answers you are looking for, we recommend that you go to official sources of information:
Persistent COVID consists of the persistence of symptoms related to the coronavirus beyond three months after diagnosis. Various organs can be affected and these patients can suffer affectations in the respiratory system, neurological and / or cognitive alterations, digestive complications, alteration of taste and smell, weight loss, sensation of shortness of breath, muscle and joint pain, asthenia, etc. These affectations prevent them from leading a normal life and require medical attention.
According to the protocol, if they are not very serious cases or immunosuppressed people, the patient can be desisolated 10 days after the onset of symptoms, although some of them still persist. Control PCR tests are not performed after isolation because it has been seen that they can be positive even though they are no longer infective.
However, it is not yet known with certainty whether people can transmit the virus once cured, nor is the risk of reinfection well known. Some studies indicate that infected people can continue to shed the virus for more than a month, but there are still doubts about this.
In each country there is a number of attention for emergencies and health assistance. In Spain, health competencies are transferred to the autonomous governments. Most of the administrations have increased their telephone service teams and have hired new telephone operators in order to avoid the saturation of calls to the usual emergency number, 112.
Many autonomous communities have also enabled specific numbers to respond to requests for information on the new coronavirus. Health recalls that people who suspect they have coronavirus due to symptoms or having been in direct contact with an infected person should not go to the emergency room or their health center, but to isolate themselves at home and use these phone numbers to find out.
These are the COVID-19 help numbers, community by community:
No. The WHO has issued general recommendations on these types of events, but refers to a risk assessment by local authorities when managing bans.
What the WHO does do is recommend postponing or reduce mass concentrations in places where there is community transmission, that is, where several groups of people are infected and knowledge about the origin of the transmission is lost.
Although some evidence indicates that regular saline rinsing can speed recovery from the common cold, it has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections, including those caused by the coronavirus.
In Spain, use of mask It is mandatory on public roads, in outdoor spaces and in any closed space for public use or that is open to the public whenever it is not possible to maintain a distance interpersonal security of at least 2 meters. However, there are some exceptions:
Before putting on the mask, you have to:
When you take it off, you have to:
Keep at least 1,5 meters away with other people. The virus is spread by direct contact with secretions and by respiratory droplets, tiny droplets that are expelled from the nose or mouth of an infected person by coughing, sneezing, or talking. If you are too close, you can inhale them and become infected.
HYGIENE AND DISINFECTION
Wash your hands often: use hydroalcoholic gel, or wash with soap and water. It is not necessary to use disinfectant soaps, ordinary hand soap, whether solid or liquid, is enough. The important thing is the duration of the friction, it must be at least 40 - 60 seconds.
Adopt respiratory hygiene measures: In general, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or a tissue; Throw away the tissue immediately and wash your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, or soap and water.
Disinfection of spaces and surfaces: the biggest sources of infection are the places we frequent the most. Pay special attention to the following “hot spots”, which you should disinfect regularly: knobs, handrails and railings; bathroom and kitchen faucets; light switches; electronic devices such as the remote control of the television, mobile or tablet; workspaces such as desk, computer and accessories.
In addition, you also need to take certain precautions when you get home. As soon as you enter, it is important to wash your hands well and leave your shoes in the hall, so that the floor does not become another element of contagion.
How long does the COVID-19 virus stay on surfaces?
Various studies have shown that the COVID-19 virus can survive up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel surfaces, while on cardboard it would survive around 24 hours. The study also suggests that it could survive that long on doorknobs, computer keyboards, mice, subway bars or mobile phones. The virus is unlikely to survive on clothing or sheets, although testing continues.
The most important thing to know about coronavirus contact with surfaces is that they can be easily cleaned with common household disinfectants that will kill the virus.
Masks have two basic functions: to protect other people from contamination from our saliva and to protect the nose and mouth from contamination from other people's saliva. They should be considered as an additional protection measure, provided they are used correctly, but they do not replace the rest of prevention measures.
So far, there is no specific medicine to cure the disease and few drugs have shown efficacy against SARS-CoV-2.
Examples of treatments that work:
- Remdesivir: initially developed as a treatment for ebola, this antiviral has proven its usefulness reducing recovery time of mild, moderate and severe patients. This is not the case with those who start receiving it when they already need mechanical ventilation (respirator).
- Dexamethasone: is a well-known drug within the group of corticosteroids and It is used as a very powerful anti-inflammatory to treat practically all respiratory inflammatory diseases, such as COPD or asthma. Its use is associated with greater survival in COVID-19 patients.
Examples of discarded treatments:
- HIV treatments: a Despite the fact that in China they treated the population with HIV drugs during the early phases of the pandemic, the RECOVERY clinical trial, which recruited more than 11.000 patients in the United Kingdom, concluded that this treatment does not provide clinical benefit in hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
- Pneumonia vaccines: it has been shown that do not protect against COVID-19. It is a very new and different virus for which the scientific community must create a new specific vaccine. However, keep in mind that it is always advisable to get vaccinated against respiratory diseases.
Examples of treatments under study:
The possible efficacy of many different drugs and compounds against COVID-19 is currently being studied. Many of them can be grouped into the following categories:
- Neutralizing antibodies
With this type of treatment, antibodies are injected into the body to speed up and strengthen its response, to stop the infection and prevent it from getting worse. They can be antibodies monoclonal (they fight only a part of the virus, generally protein S) or polyclonal (attack different parts of the virus).
Along these lines, there are studies on the convalescent plasma administration, from people who have already overcome COVID-19 and who have already developed neutralizing antibodies, to people who have recently been infected.
They are also studied hyperimmune immunoglobulin (Ig) therapies. In the trial with Grifols immunoglobulin led by doctors Clotet i Mitjà from the Foundation for Fighting AIDS and Infectious Diseases, the immunoglobulin will be administered with a drug made up of polyclonal antibodies from different donors who have had the disease, selected and concentrated to maximize its effectiveness and attack different parts of the virus. Its administration, by subcutaneous injection, would allow it to be used more easily in CAPs, in hospital emergencies or even in residences, to avoid hospitalizations.
These antibodies can also be produced in the laboratory so that they can be administered therapeutically. In this sense, the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute, thanks to donations from #YoMeCorono, is working on the development of synthetic antibodies that can be used against COVID-19.
The companies Regeneron and Eli Lilly have also created monoclonal antibody therapies, both licensed for emergency use (used but still under study) in the U.S. Trials indicated that these companies' antibodies reduced viral load and prevented hospitalizations for the worsening of the infection, but studies with patients are giving mixed results.
A key in antibody therapy seems to be in which phase of the infection it is used, since not much effect has been observed in already seriously ill patients, but the sooner it is administered.
Faced with the health emergency caused by the pandemic, doctors and scientists began to review what drugs already available on the market for other diseases could be useful to combat COVID-19. Among them, the CBIG consortium research team, made up of IrsiCaixa, the Animal Health Research Center (CReSA), the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), with the support of Grifols and #YoMeCorono, has evaluated the effectiveness of 72 drugs to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection in laboratory cells. Along these lines, various antivirals were studied, such as remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine and Aplidine, the latter being the most effective in the laboratory.
Currently there are still studies with different pre-existing drugs, such as those evaluating the use of antiviral cocktails to attack different mechanisms of the virus. In its day, this strategy was the one that managed to stop the mortality of HIV-AIDS.
They are also analyzed drugs that act against the cytokine storm It occurs in the most severe cases of COVID-19, an overreaction of the immune system to the infection. Although the production of cytokines is a protective mechanism that occurs in any inflammation and that usually acts in a controlled way, there are times when production becomes excessive, both in quantity and quality: cells are destroyed infected, in this case by SARS-CoV-2, but there is also damage to healthy cells.
It is another type of medicine that is used to treat hyperinflammation that COVID causes in some cases. Like dexamethasone, widely used. To give some examples of studies on this type of drug, Grifols is testing its alpha-1 antitrypsin; Oxford and Lilly, baricitinib, also in cocktail with remdesivir.
After the first wave, the use of these drugs in the early stages of infection is considered one of the factors to reduce admissions to ICUs and deaths.
Anticoagulants are another of the families of drugs that are given to many COVID-19 patients to prevent and treat venous or arterial thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and stroke that can lead to infection. The possible efficacy of various anticoagulant medications is being studied, including a classic one such as aspirin.
The scientific community is devoted to the studies of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. According to the World Health Organization, more than 169 candidate vaccines against COVID-19 are being developed, one of them is the one supported by #YoMeCorono. From the WHO list, 26 are in the human trials phase.
So far, only three have been authorized for use in the European Union: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-Astrazeneca.. The three vaccines differ, but all of them have proven their efficacy and safety:
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines use messenger RNA, the genetic material that our cells read to make proteins. The Oxford-Astrazeneca uses a chimpanzee adenovirus as a vehicle to reach cells.
A key advantage of AstraZeneca is the favorable storage and transport temperatures they require: between 2 º C and 8 º C. Pfizer can be stored between -80 º C and -60 º C, while that of Moderna, between -25 º C and -15 º C.
Although neither the pharmaceutical companies nor the European Union have wanted to confirm its price due to the confidential nature of the contracts, it is known that the Astrazeneca vaccine would be the most affordable. Belgian Budget Minister Eva de Bleecker published the price of each vaccine through her Twitter account during a debate in the country's federal Parliament. According to the tweet - which he later deleted - the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine would cost 12 euros, Moderna's 14,6 euros and AstraZeneca's 1,78 euros.
The COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to being a scientific challenge, it is also a logistical challenge: mass production capacity, global distribution of vaccines, administration policies and establishment of priority groups, etc.
Everything indicates that many more vaccines will be needed to be able to vaccinate globally, cover all groups in society and all possible mutations of the virus.
The people who should be tested for the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are:
PCR: confirms the presence of the virus and is used to diagnose people with symptoms of infection. A healthcare professional removes a nasopharyngeal sample, which is analyzed in a specialized laboratory to detect the genetic material of the virus. Results may take 24-72 hours.
SEROLOGY: confirms the immune system's response against the virus. It is used to know if there are antibodies in the blood and if they are from an active or past infection. A healthcare professional draws a blood sample. Results are obtained in a few hours.
QUICK ANTIGENS TEST: detects the presence of virus proteins. It allows the identification of people who are infected by SARS-CoV-2 at the time of the test, especially in the first five days after the presentation of symptoms. Depending on the epidemiological situation, this type of test can also be used to detect asymptomatic patients and to carry out screening. A nasopharyngeal sample is extracted but the test does not require a laboratory: the results can be obtained in the same place where the sample is taken (as with a pregnancy test, for example). Results are obtained in about 15 minutes.
The Spanish Society of Neonatology, the World Health Organization and other scientific societies recommend maintaining breastfeeding from birth, as long as the clinical conditions of the baby and the mother allow it, always taking isolation measures ( hand hygiene and mask).
Some cases of intrauterine or perinatal infection have been reported, but it is very rare and does not seem to be related to malformations of the baby at birth. Some infection of the baby a few days after birth has also been described, with mild symptoms in most cases.
From what is currently known, pregnant women do not seem to have a greater susceptibility to being infected by coronavirus, nor to presenting serious complications. Even so, it is important to diagnose and treat them early.
So far, the data do not suggest an increased risk of abortion in pregnant women with COVID-19.
It is known to be can cause reinfections, but they are very rare. Worldwide, there have been 31 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection, although that could be an underestimation of the reporting delays and resource pressure in the ongoing pandemic. Most of these SARS-CoV-2 reinfections have been milder than the first encounters with the virus, although some have been more severe, and two people have died as a result.
On the other hand, it is difficult to determine if what these people are experiencing is a reinfection or a reactivation of the pre-existing COVID-19 within the body.
La duration of immunity generated by the SARS-CoV-2 infection continues to be one of the great unknowns of the pandemic. According a recent study named SIREN, developed by researchers at Public Health England, most people infected with the new coronavirus make a full recovery and are immune for several months. The study concludes that the antibodies provide 83% protection against COVID-19 reinfections over a five-month period. From #YoMeCorono, the immune response of patients who passed COVID-19 in the first wave is being monitored. So far, the participants have maintained antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 for six months.
Anyway, for now, the message is clear: Even if a person has passed COVID-19, they cannot forget to follow all prevention measures, because they could acquire the virus again and transmit it.
It is transmitted mainly by the direct contact with secretions and for the respiratory drops, small droplets that are expelled from the nose or mouth of an infected person when coughing, sneezing or talking. That is why it is so important to wear a mask, cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief or the inside of your arm, wash your hands regularly and maintain a safe distance of two meters. Airborne transmission over distances of more than two meters seems unlikely.
El incubation period - the time that elapses between exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the moment symptoms start - usually around five or six days, but it can vary between 2 and 14 days.
COVID-19 presents a flu-like clinical symptoms. The most common symptoms are fever, dry cough, feeling short of breath, general discomfort and the loss of smell and taste.
80% of the cases are mild, but it is estimated that 1 in 5 people ends up presenting a serious condition. Older people and those with previous medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart or lung problems, diabetes, or cancer, are more likely to have complications.
El first positive case coronavirus was detected 31 January 2020 in La Gomera. It was a German tourist who tested positive after having been in contact with a Chinese citizen in Germany. A month later, on February 25, the first case in the peninsula in Barcelona. It was also imported: an Italian woman who had traveled to northern Italy a few days before.
The general director of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared the pandemic el March 11th 2020 after an extraordinary meeting. He did so alarmed by the levels of spread and severity of the disease, as well as by what he considered "alarming levels of inaction."
The origin of COVID-19 is unclear, although it most likely has an animal origin. A study led by scientist Maciej F. Boni, concludes that the virus from a bat population in Yunnan, in southeastern China, most likely jumped directly to humans in November 2019
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a new type of coronavirus that can affect people. Coronaviruses are a very large family of viruses that cause a wide variety of conditions, from the common cold to more serious illnesses.
Both the SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 viruses were unknown before the outbreak broke out in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Currently, COVID-19 is a pandemic that affects many countries around the world.