Coronavirus COVID-19

State of play

Researchers around the world are racing to develop antibody tests, also called serological tests, that can confirm whether someone was infected even after their immune system has cleared the virus that causes COVID-19. The group that developed the test, at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, is among the front-runners, although its assay has to be validated before it is taken into production and deployed widely.

The best way to prevent infection with COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to the virus, according to the CDC. In general, the CDC recommends the following to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; avoid close contact with people who are sick; stay home when you are sick and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

People who travelled to China and became sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing within the following two weeks should seek medical care right away, and call ahead to inform medical staff about their recent travel, the CDC said.

The CDC does not recommend face masks for people who are well and without symptoms. The agency does recommend face masks for people who show symptoms of the virus and those taking care of someone sick with the virus (including health care workers).

The virus is also known to spread via touching, coughing. sneezing and other flu like symptoms.

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