15.03.2020 - Sunday Coronavirus Update

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General information by RBB

People who fear that they have been infected with the corona virus should first of all stay at home and clarify by telephone whether and where they can be tested for the virus.

The Berlin Senate Department of Health has set up a hotline for this purpose. Experts are available between 8am and 8pm at 030/9028-2828.

If a patient with respiratory problems who has previously been in a risk area [as defined by Robert Koch Institute (RKI)] or has had contact with an infected person comes into a practice, he or she is isolated in a separate room, is given a respirator and, if they belongs to the risk group, is tested for both influenza and coronavirus. The evaluation of the test takes almost five hours after the sample has arrived in the laboratory by courier.

As long as it is not clear whether a person classified as a suspected case is carrying the virus, the RKI recommends isolation in hospital. The person concerned is then accommodated in a single room and the hospital staff must wear protective clothing.

If the test result is positive, the person remains in isolation until he or she recovers. In addition, the people with whom the infected patient has had contact must then also be observed for 14 days.

In order to largely prevent or at least slow down further spread of the virus, contact persons of confirmed cases of infection must also be identified as completely as possible. Their state of health is observed for the maximum incubation period (14 days) in mostly domestic quarantine. During this time, the public health department is in close contact with the affected persons in order to act quickly if symptoms occur.

Risk groups include those with Pre-existing conditions that weaken the immune system, such as chronic lung or kidney diseases. The virus could also become dangerous for people with transplanted organs or people suffering from a tumour A special risk group is also older people, with an emphasis on the male sex.

The current state of research indicates that for most children, young and middle-aged people, the corona virus is most likely not life-threatening if they are basically healthy.