32 thousand calls related to coronavirus have been received so far by consultants of the Telephone Information of the Patient - helpline, where at 800 190 590 you can get information including on how to deal with suspected infection. The National Health Fund gave answers to the most frequently asked questions.

• Why is hand washing important in the prevention of coronavirus ?
The coronavirus is sheathed with a fat (lipid) membrane. Therefore, it can be prevented by the use of chemical agents such as ordinary soap, minimum 60-70% alcohol, disinfectants.

• What are the symptoms of coronavirus ?
The course of coronavirus infection varies from asymptomatic to mild respiratory disease to severe pneumonia and even multiple organ failure and septic shock. The most common symptoms of coronavirus are: cough, shortness of breath, body temperature above 38 ° C, muscle pain.

• How is coronavirus transmitted ?
The virus is transmitted by droplet route. Most often by coughing, sneezing and talking. It can also be moved indirectly by touch. That's why washing your hands is so important.

• How to prevent coronavirus ?
The main rules are:
* Wash your hands often with soap and water. If this is not possible, they must be disinfected with alcohol-based agents (minimum 60-70%). Frequent hand washing reduces the risk of infection.

* Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. The coronavirus can reside on various surfaces and spread by their touch. Touching eyes, nose or mouth with contaminated hands can cause the virus to move from the surface to itself.

* Regularly clean or disinfect the surfaces you touch. Places that you often use should be carefully disinfected. Regularly wipe with water and soap or a disinfectant on desks, counters, tables, door handles, light switches and handrails.

* Disinfect your phone regularly and do not use it while eating meals. Pathogenic microorganisms easily accumulate on the surface of cell phones. Disinfect your mobile phone regularly (e.g. with wet wipes soaked in disinfectant). Do not place the phone on the table with a meal, and do not use it while eating.

* Keep a safe distance from the interlocutor. Keep 1-2 meters from a person who coughs, sneezes or has a fever.

* Apply protection when sneezing and coughing. When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or handkerchief. Then throw the tissue into a closed basket as soon as possible and wash your hands using soap and water or disinfect them with alcohol-based agents (minimum 60-70%). Covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing prevents the spread of germs, including viruses.

* Eat healthy and remember to hydrate your body. Follow a balanced diet. Avoid highly processed foods. Remember to eat a minimum of 5 portions of fruit and vegetables daily . Hydrate your body properly. Drink about 2 liters of fluid daily (preferably mineral water).

* Use proven sources of knowledge about coronavirus . Don't panic. Try to be rational in the fight against coronavirus . Use proven sources of knowledge based on scientific evidence, which are published on the websites of the Main Sanitary Inspectorate, the Ministry of Health and the National Health Fund.

• What to do when we suspect coronavirus ?
Contact the nearest sanitary and epidemiological station as soon as possible by phone. Until you receive help, isolate yourself from other people. Each station has a duty call (emergency) phone open 24 hours a day. The telephone number is available on the websites of poviat sanitary and epidemiological stations. In some cases, this may be the station director's phone number. There is not always information on the site that it is a 24-hour number. Symptoms such as fever above 38 degrees C with coughing or shortness of breath require consultation in an infectious hospital. Avoid public transport when moving to the hospital.

• Is there a coronavirus vaccine ?
There is currently no vaccine against coronavirus .

• Do masks protect against coronavirus ?
The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend the use of face masks by healthy people.

• Can I contract coronavirus through shipments from China?
The risk of contracting a virus through goods ordered from China is negligible. The virus lives briefly outside the human body.

• Who is most at risk of coronavirus infection ?
Elderly, the immunosuppressed are the most vulnerable to developing severe disease and death, which are suffering from other diseases, in particular chronic (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders). Incidence among children is rare.

• Are there any medications, supplements or vitamins that can increase immunity and protect against coronavirus ?
There are currently no recommendations that would suggest that taking specific drugs, supplements or vitamins protects against coronavirus .

• Can you examine coronavirus privately? How much it costs?
It is the doctor who decides whether to do a coronavirus test . The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend performing commercial coronavirus tests .

• How can older people protect themselves against coronavirus ?
We recommend that elderly people do not stay in public places and do not leave the house as much as possible. It is worth asking your loved ones for support when shopping. It is also best to stock up on medicines that are taken permanently. To do this, you can call your GP and ask him to issue an e-prescription. If the patient has access to the Internet Patient Account and enters the phone number there, the e-prescription access code will be sent via SMS.

• Can the date of the sanatorium be changed due to the coronavirus ?
Yes, it is possible. You should write to your voivodship department to change the date of your trip to the sanatorium due to concerns about coronavirus . The stay in the sanatorium will be moved to a different date.

• Why are checks at the border and for what purpose are personal data collected from passengers?
This is a preventive measure in relation to the spread of coronavirus . The data collected in this way will be used by sanitary services to contact passengers if it turns out that a sick person was among them. Passengers are asked to provide such data as: temporary or permanent address, personal data, contact telephone number, indicating a contact person in case of emergency.

If I am not insured, will I receive free coronavirus treatment?
Yes. Patients with coronavirus symptoms will be treated free of charge, including uninsured people.

• Can I get a quarantine release?
The decision to impose quarantine is taken by the poviat state sanitary inspector. This decision is the basis for the payment of benefits by ZUS.

• Can a doctor issue a release during teleporade ?
Yes, it is possible. The telephone number to the clinic where the doctor will provide teleporada can be obtained from Patient Telephone Information consultants. Helpline number 800 190 590. It is the doctor who decides whether to issue a sick leave.


Katarzyna Lechowic -Dyl (PAP)


Source: PAP/Rynek Zdrowia

Translation: Katerina Safarava/Lazarski University