Contagious 2 to 3 days before symptoms? A Covid-19-disease runs

In Germany, infected thousands of people with the Coronavirus. Far-reaching measures were adopted in order to gain time, in order for the curve to flatten out, but also to collect more experiences with the Virus. What do we know about the duration, symptoms and alarm signals currently.

More than 36,000 people have been infected in Germany, according to the Robert Koch-Institute (RKI) with the Coronavirus, the disease Covid-19 triggers (. 26.3.). In Germany, Covid are-19-Infected in the Mediterranean 47 years old and predominantly male (56 percent). Children are much less likely to, such as the RKI reported. That people who have been infected with the pathogen, seem to be already contagious before the first symptoms show, the disease is particularly tricky.


When is it contagious?

People have already two to three days are infectious, if you still have no signs of the disease, a study by scientists from Gabriel Leung from the WHO centre for the epidemiology of infectious diseases near. The researchers did their study on the Preprint Server "MedRxiv" published (publications not by other scientists via Peer-Review-approved procedures) were still.

They examined 94 Covid-19-patients and a further 77 transfer of cases from Sars-CoV-2 looked at each other. You come to the conclusion that a greater share of 44 percent of the Transfers could take place before the first symptoms of a disease.

"We saw the highest viral load in throat swabs at the time, the symptoms einsetzten", the authors of the reports. Conclude that the contagion of the day, when the first symptoms occur, or as early as one to two days before it is at its highest.

Similar experts WHO reported in a recent commentary in the journal "The Lancet". Also, you write that the Virus production is at the beginning of an infection seems to be the highest – possibly even before symptoms Occur. Many countries begin with the identification of contact persons, therefore, one to two days before onset of symptoms in an Infected.

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As the disease continues after you are infected, is very individual. The RKI declared in a regularly updated plug-in letter, when people after infection to show symptoms, when you have to go to the hospital and how long you are in the middle there to stay.

How long does it take to …?

Therefore, the incubation time, i.e. the time between infection and the onset of the disease, on average, five to six days. In the extreme case, can even a or even 14 days.

The duration of the infection is not yet clear. In a small study with nine patients showed that in the throat up to the fourth day after the onset of symptoms capable of propagation of viruses detected were, in the Sputum or sputum until the eighth day.

According to a survey from China with more than 1000 cases is the time span from onset of Disease until the development of pneumonia about four days. In 50 percent of all Examined that were infected and an inflammation of the lungs developed, the duration until the inflammation of the lungs between two and seven days. The lung tissue is inflamed, does that mean that oxygen intake is working so well.

The time from onset of Disease until admission to a hospital fraud in the Median, according to a Chinese investigation of seven days, such as the RKI reported. At 50 percent of the Surveyed it took between four and eight days, until they came to the clinic. A second study differentiated more and reported a time of 4.5 days (50 percent for between two and seven days) in the case of minor illnesses and five days (50 percent between 4 and 6.8 days) with heavier gradients.


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Also, the time from onset of Disease to Acute lung failure figured the RKI scientists. Here, too, they referred to a Chinese survey. The duration of a Median of eight to nine days be have.

From disease onset to treatment in intensive care passed in the middle (Median) of ten days (50 percent between six and twelve days). Of the treatment in the hospital up to the time of recording in the ICU for about a day (Median).

In the Chinese study with more than 1000 people remained people to the recovery in the middle ten days in the hospital (50 percent between seven and 14 days). However, the RKI experts consider these values to be underestimated. You write: "In the report of the 'WHO China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019' is called that mild cases in the middle (Median), with a disease course of two weeks, and severity of 3-6 weeks".

At least 80 percent of the infections are mild.

What Covid-19-symptoms are?

As well as the progression of the disease, the signs of a Covid-19-disease are very different. "The symptoms of the disease are nonspecific, diverse and vary greatly, from asymptomatic gradients to severe pneumonia (Anm. the. Red.: Pneumonia) with respiratory failure and Tod", the RKI reported. About half of the people infected would not even notice, said recently RKI-chief Lothar Wieler.

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  • Nevertheless, the experts have summarized the most common symptoms that have been described so far in Germany:

    • Coughing: 55 Percent
    • Fever: 39 Percent
    • Runny Nose: 28%
    • Neck Pain: 23%
    • Shortness Of Breath: 3 Per Cent

    Also called:

    • Head -, and limb pain
    • Loss of appetite
    • Weight loss
    • Nausea
    • Abdominal pain
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Conjunctivitis
    • Skin rash
    • Swelling of the lymph nodes
    • Apathy
    • pathological sleepiness

    The Bonn virologist Hendrik Streeck has 100 people in Heinsberg in North Rhine-Westphalia interviewed, and a further frequent Symptom identified in the Overview of the RKI to date not to occur: loss of taste and sense of smell.

    "The most commonly described Symptom is a dry, hacking cough, with 70 per cent, the loss of taste and smell, with 68 percent, and tiredness, with 68 Prozent", Streeck says. But also from a "current Nase", Headache, muscle pain, sore throat and fever reported by many patients. "Some were very nice K. o. ", the scientists says. By case, was not rare.

    Who takes such symptoms to be true and suspected that he might have with the Coronavirus infected, you should call a doctor or the number of the medical schafst ready to choose service 116117.

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    What are alarm signals?

    Italian Doctors described, that there is in the affected part of the patient, the visit to a clinic. RKI-Chef Wieler advises, if you increasing shortness of breath feel, it is even more important for a doctor to consult.

    The clinical picture at Covid-19 vagina infections from the previously unknown lung, says Martin Witzenrath from the clinic for infectiology and pneumology at the Charité Berlin. "The special thing about it is that patients have a bit of shortness of breath, not dramatically, one has the impression that are not even particularly sick. Then you look at the lung in the CT and looks very bad. It is something we don’t know so far." For example, more than half of the lung could be damaged by the Virus. The course could deteriorate then rapidly.

    The Corona-pandemic restricts the everyday life of the people in Germany. Especially for vulnerable groups such as seniors, everyday tasks are associated with a risk of infection. Therefore, now asked for solidarity! FOCUS Online has therefore launched the campaign “#corona care: Germany helps”. With you! All of the information you find here.

    The doctors called alarm signals: "If you go to a stairs, which you can handle otherwise loose, and half way through remember, you get no more air, should give food for thought. Especially if you already are older, pre-existing conditions." Members could keep the respiratory rate of Patients in the view: While the Patient is lying, for example, in front of the TV, you can watch the best of this unnoticed – the number of times the chest rise. "If the number is about 20 or 22 per Minute, this is definitely a warning signal."

    How can I protect myself and my fellow human beings?

    Experts advise:

    • You keep coughing and Niesregeln: Sneeze and cough-for instance, in the crook of your arm instead of the Hand.
    • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds.
    • Keep at least 1.5 better 2 Meter distance from the Sick.
    • You will not shake hands.
    • You can stay if you have respiratory symptoms (such as sore throat, runny nose, cough) are at home.
    • You stay, if possible, more often at home, avoid crowds and organize a larger Meeting with friends and Acquaintances.

    Sense of taste and smell lost – possible symptoms of COVID-19

    KameraOne sense of taste and smell lost – possible symptoms of COVID-19