What’s Your Pandemic IQ?
By now, many Canadians have substantial expertise on viruses, pandemics and strategies to stay safe. Here’s a Question & Answer quiz that touches on many interesting aspects about the virulent virus that we’ve all had to contend with during this past year. How comprehensive is your knowledge?
Question: What is a virus?
A) A microscopic organism
B) A microscopic, single-celled organism
C) A sub-microscopic infectious agent
Answer: C. A sub-microscopic infectious agent that replicates inside the cells of a living organism. There are millions of different viruses that can infect all types of life forms. Coronaviruses are a large group of RNA viruses that are known to cause illness. The name is derived from “corona” (like a crown) because under the microscope, the viruses look like they are covered with pointed structures that surround them like a crown.
Question: What is the best masking strategy to avoid transmission of the virus?
Answer: E. Although all are good choices, if you’re able to opt for N95s or KN95s you should do so. Med PPE Canada’s KN95 respirator masks are recommended by Health Canada, the CDC, approved by the FDA and are an essential resource for keeping healthcare workers and the public safe. With almost identical specifications, these masks have similar filter performance, flow rate, inhalation and exhalation metrics resistance and KN95 masks are manufactured from a non-woven fabric which helps keep users safe from smog, dust, air pollution, bacteria and more. Go to MedPPE Canada “Buy Online” now to see how to order.
Question: Which of the following is not on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) list as a possible symptom of the virus?
B) Blurred vision
D) Sinus congestion
Answer: B. Blurred vision is not listed as a symptom by the WHO, although many recovering patients who have had the virus say that their sense of taste and smell was impaired.
Question: What does the virus attach itself to when it enters the human body?
C) Ace-2 receptors
Answer: C. The virus can sneak in when virus-infected particles are inhaled and they latch onto Ace-2 receptors cells lining the nose and throat.
Question: Who are the patients most susceptible to experiencing a severe virus episode?
A) People who suffer from chronic illnesses or immune conditions
B) Pregnant women
C) People who are repeatedly exposed to the virus, such as frontline health care workers
E) People over the age of 65
Answer: A. Anyone can catch virus, no matter what their age or health status. However, age, underlying conditions, exposure to the virus and access to healthcare are key factors that increase the risk of developing serious illness or death.
Question: A good hand sanitizer must contain:
A) 90% alcohol
B) 60% alcohol
C) 60% aloe vera
D) 80% ethanol
Answer: B. The best way to prevent the spread of infections and decrease the risk of being infected is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. By thoroughly cleansing your hands with a good quality alcohol-based hand sanitizer you can kill almost all of the germs that may exist on your hands.
Question: If you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, when should you get tested?
A) Same day
B) 48 hours later
C) 4-8 days after or as directed by your Public Health Officer
Answer: C. The results of a screening test 4 to 8 days after exposure should be the most effective way to tell if you have the virus, however, while you’re waiting to be tested, you should take appropriate precautions just in case and self-isolate to ensure you don’t spread it to others in case you are positive.
Question: This virus replicates itself by inserting its RNA into a host cell’s replication machinery. It creates multiples of itself before escaping the host cell, causing the infection to spread. What does RNA stand for?
A) Reproducing noxious agent
B) Ribonucleic acid
C) Regulating nucleic acid
Answer: B. Ribonucleic acid or RNA is one of the three major biological macromolecules that are essential for all forms of life (along with DNA and proteins).
Question: Which of the following is not a type of coronavirus?
A) MERS or Middle East respiratory syndrome
C) SARS or Severe acute respiratory syndrome
Answer: B. Ebola is not a coronavirus. SARS, a pneumonia-like coronavirus, hit Canada particularly hard between 2002 to 2004, resulting in 438 probable Canadian cases that resulted in 44 deaths.
Question: Governments and health care professionals around the world monitor the “R number” to determine pandemic restrictions. What does the “R number” stand for?
A) Rate of cases that lead to death
B) Percentage of patients that tested positive
C) Rating the viruses’ or any disease’s ability to spread
Answer: C. The “R” number is a way of rating any disease’s ability to spread. For example, if the R happens to be 1.0, that means the average infected person infects one other person. We know that the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic had an R of 1.8—or one infected person infected almost two others. We know that this pandemic’s rate, without masks, is approximately 2.4. An infectious disease is determined to die out if its R falls under 1.0. The smaller the number, the faster the outbreak disappears.
Question: Which body organ does the virus primarily attack?
Answer: C. The virus enters via the airways and spreads to the lungs. The lungs may become inflamed, making it difficult to breathe. This could result in the reduction of the amount of oxygen that can be supplied to the rest of the body.
Question: What’s the best way to prevent the spread of the virus?
A) Wear a mask
B) Maintain recommended social distance
C) Avoid busy periods in stores and other public places
D) All of the above
Answer: D. All of the above. Experts say it’s important to adopt as many safety strategies as possible to protect yourself and others from the virus.
Question: Does smoking pose any specific risks around the virus?
A) No it does not
B) Yes it does
Answer: B. If someone is smoking they have to remove their mask thereby exposing themselves to the risk of being in close contact with others in a confined smoking area. Also, smoking compromises lung health and can increase the risk of complications from the virus.
Question: How long can the virus live outside the body?
A) 24 hours
B) 48 hours
C) 72 hours
Answer: C. 72 hours.