Spread and treatment of the disease

How is this disease treated?
No specific antiviral therapy is recommended for the COVID-19 infection. People infected with coronavirus should initiate supportive therapy to alleviate the symptoms of the infection. Treatment is always individual and based on the patient’s specific needs. Commonly available medications are used for supportive therapy, and many of the symptoms of COVID-19 can be treated successfully.  

Is a vaccine against the infection already available?
There is currently no vaccine available to protect against this disease. The development and distribution of a new vaccine is underway. Clinical efficacy and safety studies always take at least several months, usually up to years. In this case of an existing pandemic, there will be an effort to speed this up as much as possible. Israeli scientists expect safety data for their vaccine within 3 months. Medicines could possibly be available sooner, if it is demonstrated that their administration is useful.    

How should I behave when visiting the doctor?
If you do not suffer from another type of illness that requires a visit to the doctor, do not visit in person, but rather contact him/her by phone. If you have to go personally to see a doctor, take appropriate precautions. Most importantly, patients should observe respiratory etiquette for coughing, sneezing and nose-blowing, using disposable tissues, as well as hand hygiene. It is also necessary to wear protective respiratory equipment when moving around and staying in all places outside the home. The face mask can be a classic disposable mask, a home made textile mask or even a shawl or scarf. If we all wear masks, we can slow the spread of the new coronavirus infection. All you have to do is remember the simple rule: “My mask protects you, your mask protects me.”      

Can I see a doctor in person?
Yes, but if you suspect a coronavirus infection, contact your GP by phone and arrange further steps. You should definitely not underestimate the importance of preventive check-ups and treatment for chronic diseases.

How many infectious disease ward beds are available in the Czech Republic?
In total, it is possible to use more than 1000 beds in infectious disease wards all over the Czech Republic. Among them is a specialized workplace at the Na Bulovce Hospital. It is also possible to activate a specialized military hospital in Těchonín. Should these capacities be exceeded, a facility or several facilities which do not primarily care for infectious patients will be activated and adapted for this purpose.  

Can ibuprofen worsen the health condition during coronavirus infection?
There is currently no scientific evidence that ibuprofen worsens the course of the COVID-19 infection. If fever and pain (e.g. of the muscles) develop with a COVID-19 infection, your doctor or pharmacist may recommend different treatment options to alleviate the problem. These include paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including ibuprofen. Each of these active substances has a well-known safety profile and varies in some benefits and risks of treatment.The choice of a medicine for a cold is highly individual. Ibuprofen is contraindicated in many patients, such as those with ulcer diseases or taking blood thinners. Other contraindications apply to the use of paracetamol (patients with liver problems, cirrhosis, alcoholics, etc.). Medicines containing acetylsalicylic acid or diclofenac have further contraindications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice on the right medicine for you.  

What is the course of the COVID-19 disease?
According to data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), collected only on the basis of cases from Europe, 80 percent of those infected are experiencing a mild course of the disease. 14 percent of people have severe symptoms and 6 percent are in a critical condition. These people, especially the elderly and otherwise ill, may suffer from lung inflammation and breathe with great difficulty, so they often need lung ventilation. The number of people who can die of the disease often varies according to how old the population is. While the risk of death for an infected person under the age of 40 is about 0.2 percent, over 60 it is 3.6 percent and over 80 almost 15 percent.   

What are artificial lung ventilators used for? Do we have enough of them?
In Italy, the problem is multiplied by a lack of beds with artificial lung ventilation. As of now, Czech healthcare has enough such beds for 2500 patients. Ventilation is crucial for the survival of about one fifth of the patients with the most severe course of the disease.  

Who can I turn to if I have another technical question?
Feel free to ask our virtual nurse Anežka (only in the Czech language), who will help you find information on prevention, treatment, quarantine, travel, established measures and other topics. If you do not get along with her, she can connect you to a live operator. You can connect with him/her by chat, voice call or video. Anežka is now waiting for your question. Click on the icon in the lower right corner of your screen.