NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -- As the concern over the coronavirus continues to grow, more information is being released on how the virus easily spreads and its impact on the body.

A cough that is associated with coronavirus is the body's way of trying to fight off the infection and get rid of it, but it is also the same way it can easily spread.

“This virus can transmit through the air or through touch,” said Dr. Akiko Iwasaki, a professor of immunobiology at Yale's School of Medicine.

Iwasaki said the coronavirus can linger in the air for more than an hour, or on surfaces like plastic, for days.

“The more we can socially isolate, the better, but this virus just isn’t going to go away because we do the social isolation. What we need is mass testing,” Iwasaki said.

However, not just testing for those showing symptoms like a fever.

“Fever is always a body’s response to fight back pathogens, like this virus,” Iwasaki said.

Coronavirus infects the lungs, destroying the cells that help you breathe.

“That’s why when you have a severe infection with this COVID-19, it's very difficult to breathe, and you have coughing, because you’re body is trying to get rid of the virus,” Iwasaki said.

The problem is when you’re coughing, the body’s defense against the virus, is also the same way you can easily spread it.

Plus, with no vaccine, Iwasaki says the best thing you can do is limit contact with others.

“So we need to really stay home, shelter in place. If you don’t need to go out, don’t go out,” Iwasaki said.

She said here locally, Connecticut is doing the right thing by closing schools, non-essential businesses, and eliminating mass gatherings. However, she cautions it will only work if everyone is on the same page.

“These are all very important measures, but its not uniform across the United States. That’s the problem,” Iwasaki said. “We have to be in it together, united in this effort, otherwise if there is a pocket of an infection that spreads from another state, that comes into this state, you’ll have another mini outbreak.”

So, in additional to the social distancing and washing your hands, she said to stay hydrated and says running a humidifier in your house, can also help as well.

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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