Treating Coronavirus SARS-COV-2

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There is currently no specific treatment for the new coronavirus, but there are treatments for controlling and relieving the symptoms. The best way to prevent the disease is to prevent exposure to this virus.

Studying contacts

In the containment phase of the COVID-19 epidemic, the goal is to identify, isolate and treat all cases. This is difficult, because some people may present with few or no symptoms at all. Potential cases must meet clinical and epidemiological criteria (which change according to the evolution of the disease and the global situation) and test positive in the laboratory.

Once a case is detected, the search for possible contacts of that individual begins. It is important to establish that all these contacts are healthy; they are only contacts. They are people who have shared a common space with the person who has contracted the virus (work, home, meeting, travel). Not all contacts are at the same risk.

A distinction is made between close and intimate contacts and casual and non-intimate contacts. The definition is not always precise, so each case must be assessed individually.

Examples of possible close contacts are family members or people who have been at the same workplace within a short distance (less than 2 metres) of a symptomatic case for a long time.

What should a person designated as a close contact do?

A close contact is a healthy person who must be isolated at home for 14 days and remain contactable, record their temperature twice a day and report immediately if symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath) appear. Contacts without symptoms are not tested. After this 14-day period, if there are no incidents, the Epidemiological Surveillance Service will inform them that the monitoring has been completed and, from that point onwards, they should return to normal life.

People considered to be casual contacts need not be kept in isolation. They are only informed of what to do if they have symptoms.

A contact of a contact is not a contact. No action needs to be taken.

Substantiated information by:

Antoni Trilla
Eduard Vieta Pascual
Josep Maria Peri
Maica Rubinat
Mariona Violan

Published: 12 March 2020
Updated: 12 March 2020

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