VIENNA [Frequently Asked Questions -FAQs-]

The City of Vienna is proceeding in accordance with its general crisis and emergency plan in close coordination with the Austrian Federal Government. The crisis unit of the City of Vienna, which meets daily, also decides on short-term measures as required.

 

WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS?

There are many different kinds of coronavirus (CoV). Known types of coronavirus include:

  • SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), which was first detected in 2003;
  • MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which first occurred in humans in 2012.

In humans, certain types of coronavirus can cause illnesses ranging from a common cold to severe pneumonia. Other types of coronavirus can cause a variety of infectious diseases in animals. Some types of coronavirus can be transmitted from animals to humans.

The novel coronavirus identified in China in late 2019 was never before detected in humans.

On 11 February 2020, WHO assigned the official name COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) to this disease. The designation for the pathogen (germ) was changed from 2019-nCoV to SARS–CoV-2.

HOW DANGEROUS IS THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS?

This is not yet clear. Similar to seasonal influenza, it affects in particular elderly persons and persons with a weakened immune system.

HOW CONTAGIOUS IS THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS?

Person-to-person spreading is the most frequent path of infection with coronavirus SARS–CoV-2. Contagion can be caused by:

  • Mucus and saliva
  • Urine and faeces
  • Body fluids like for example blood

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF THE COVID-19 DISEASE?

When persons are infected with already better-known coronaviruses, the course of the illness is usually mild and without symptoms. In case of the novel COVID-19 disease, too, there occur infections without symptoms or with a mild course and symptoms of a common cold. Indications of a severe infection with the novel coronavirus SARS–CoV-2 include for example:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breathing difficulties

In more severe cases, infection with the novel coronavirus SARS–CoV-2 can cause pneumonia or severe breathing difficulties.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF SUSPECTED COVID-19 DISEASE?

The disease is suspected in the following cases:

  • A person presents mild or severe symptoms of the COVID-19 disease
    and
  • the person had close contact, within a period of up to 14 days before the onset of the symptoms, with a person who was confirmed as suffering from the COVID-19 disease or who has probably contracted the COVID-19 disease
    or
  • the person stayed, within a period of up to 14 days before the onset of the symptoms,
  • the person worked, within a period of up to 14 days before the onset of the symptoms, in a healthcare facility where patients with COVID-19 infection were or are treated, or the person visited such a healthcare facility.

What does „close contact“ mean?

  • Staying in the same place as an infected person, for example: classroom, workplace, home or household, hospital or other healthcare facility, other residential facility, army barracks or holiday camp. The length of stay is not important.
  • Providing care or assistance in the capacity of healthcare worker or family member to a person probably or definitely infected with SARS–CoV-2.

HOW IS THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS TREATED?

At the moment, no vaccine is yet available against the COVID-19 disease. Treatment is symptomatic, which means by suitably supporting the body functions in the healing process and by relieving the symptoms.

HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF AGAINST CORONAVIRUS?

As with seasonal influenza, the following measures are recommended:

  • Wash your hands several times a day with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand disinfectant.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a paper tissue or the crook of your arm whenever you cough or sneeze. Do not cover your mouth and nose with your hands whenever you cough or sneeze. Dispose of paper tissues promptly by throwing them in the trash and then wash your hands. Do not throw paper tissues in the bin for wastepaper recycling.
  • Avoid direct contact with persons who are ill, irrespective of the disease.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I HAD CONTACT WITH A PERSON WHO HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS?

Persons in Austria who have tested positive for coronavirus are asked by the Public Health Services (Municipal Department 15) about the persons in Vienna with whom they were in contact. The persons thus mentioned will be contacted by the Public Health Services (Municipal Department 15). For your safety, you will be quarantined at home and then must observe your health status. This means that you must regularly take your temperature and watch out for symptoms of influenza such as coughing. You must communicate your health status daily to the Public Health Services (Municipal Department 15) until your quarantine at home can be terminated.

WHO GETS TESTED FOR CORONAVIRUS AND SHOULD I BE TESTED?

The medical crisis team of the City of Vienna provides information about the next steps to take if you present symptoms such as fever and cough.

Many people are worried they might have the coronavirus and therefore would like to get tested. However, there are some cases where a coronavirus test is not necessary. The medical crisis team of the City of Vienna advises on the next steps to take if you present symptoms such as fever and cough. It also gives advice on whether a SARS-CoV-2 test is necessary or not.

  • Who should get tested?
    You should get tested if you present symptoms such as fever and cough and have been in contact with a person who is a confirmed case. You should also get tested if you have fever and cough and have recently been to a region where SARS–CoV-2 was and still is transmitted even without knowing the exact source. Getting tested is necessary in all these cases, especially if you are a senior citizen or have pre-existing conditions.Persons who are not sick regardless where they have been or who they have been in contact with. In these cases, a negative test result would only be a snapshot of your current health status. It would only show that you are currently not contagious. However, if you have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 it can take up to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear and for you to be contagious. Only at this point will it be possible to detect the virus by getting a nasopharyngeal (nose and throat) swab.
  • What should I do if I have a fever and cough?
    In general, the medical crisis team of the City of Vienna advises you to stay at home and stay in bed if you present symptoms such as fever and cough. Drink plenty of fluids and cover your mouth and nose with a paper tissue whenever you cough. Dispose of paper tissues promptly by throwing them in the trash. Alternatively, you could cover your mouth and nose with the crook of your arm whenever you cough. Then wash your hands! If there are other people near you, turn your head or entire body away from them if you need to cough. Regularly open the windows to air your room. To prevent contagion, it is sufficient for another person to quickly provide you with everything you need. If you develop breathing difficulties, you should immediately call the health hotline 1450.
  • What if I have recently visited a region with a large number of confirmed cases?
    Even if you have recently been to a region with a large number of confirmed cases, it is more likely that you have a common cold and not the new coronavirus. If you have a case of the sniffles (a head cold causing a running nose) you should wait for two to three days to get better. If you do not get better and also get a cough and have been in contact with a lot of people in the region affected by coronavirus, please call 1450. The emergency medical service („Ärztefunkdienst„) will visit you at your home and, if necessary, will arrange for a nasopharyngeal (nose and throat) swab to be taken.

I THINK THAT I MAY BE INFECTED WITH CORONAVIRUS. WHAT SHOULD I DO? WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

The health hotline („Gesundheitstelefon“) is staffed around the clock, seven days a week. Call the health hotline 1450 in the following cases:

  • You present symptoms of a cold or pneumonia
    and
  • you have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus
    or
  • you have  visited a region where SARS–CoV-2 was and still is transmitted
    or
  • you have worked in a healthcare facility where patients with COVID-19 infection were or are treated, or you have visited such a healthcare facility.

What does „close contact“ mean?

  • Staying in the same place as an infected person, for example: classroom, workplace, home or household, hospital or other healthcare facility, other residential facility, army barracks or holiday camp.
  • Providing care or assistance in the capacity of healthcare worker or family member to a person probably or definitely infected with SARS–CoV-2.

Tell the health hotline operator on the phone

  • where and when you visited a region where SARS–CoV-2 was or is transmitted, and
  • which symptoms you present and when these symptoms first occurred.

The medically trained specialised personnel of the health hotline 1450 will clarify on the phone whether you might actually be infected with coronavirus.

If you are not in danger of being infected, you can consult your family doctor.

You will be told whether you must stay at home and will be given further instructions. It is important that you follow these instructions closely.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I AM SUSPECTED OF BEING INFECTED WITH CORONAVIRUS?

If it is suspected that you might have contracted coronavirus SARS–CoV-2, the emergency medical service („Ärztefunkdienst„) will visit you at your home. Its team is on call around the clock, seven days a week. The protective equipment of the test team is provided by the Vienna Hospital Association (KAV).

You will be tested for the SARS–CoV-2 virus. A nasopharyngeal (nose and throat) swab will be taken for this purpose. The samples are collected by the Public Health Services (Municipal Department 15) and evaluated three times a day by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES). AGES submits the findings to Municipal Department 15 and to the emergency medical service („Ärztefunkdienst„). Medical findings are available after 48 hours at the latest.

If your test was negative, you have not been infected with coronavirus SARS–CoV-2. In this case, the emergency medical service will inform you directly.

If your test was positive, you have been infected with coronavirus SARS–CoV-2. In this case, you will be contacted by the Public Health Services (Municipal Department 15). The severity of your infection will decide whether you will be admitted to a hospital or quarantined at home. If you need a notification of illness for your employer or a medical prescription, do not see your family doctor. The emergency medical service is authorised to issue notifications of illness and medical prescriptions. Avoid any contact with other people, since you might infect and hence endanger them.

GENERAL ADVICE ON INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

The Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs (Austrian Foreign Ministry) classifies the safety and security situation in different countries.

Currently there are several travel warnings in effect, concerning regions and countries all over the world with a high spread of Covid-19.

The Federal Ministry lists all travel warnings (in German) on its website.

ARE VIENNA’S HOSPITALS WELL PREPARED FOR THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS?

Vienna disposes of a special influenza pandemic preparedness plan for the city. At the outbreak of any pandemic, patients are admitted, as a first step, to the following hospitals:

  • SMZ-Süd Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Spital
  • SMZ-Baumgartner Höhe Otto-Wagner-Spital and
  • if children are concerned, the children’s isolation ward of Wilhelminenspital.

In the hospitals, these patients are admitted to specially provided wards, where they are cared for under conditions of isolation. As a second and third step, wards are also available at other hospitals. The ward at Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Spital specialised in the diagnosis and treatment of such diseases has decades of experience and corresponds to the highest technical standards. Planning can be adapted to the status quo as required.

I HAVE FAMILY MEMBERS STAYING IN HOSPITAL AS AN INPATIENT OR LIVING IN A NURSING HOME. CAN I VISIT THEM?

There is a visiting ban at all hospitals and nursing homes of the Vienna Hospital Association (KAV) to protect patients, residents, visitors, and staff members. However, there are some exceptions: Patients who are under 18 years of age can be visited by one person at a time. It is also allowed for one person to accompany a child or other person in need of care staying in hospital.

There are also some exceptions for patients who are over 18 years of age. One person per day is allowed to visit mothers with a new-born baby, or patients staying in hospital

ARE THERE SUFFICIENT CAPACITIES FOR COMBATING THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS?

Vienna disposes of sufficient capacities: The Vienna Hospital Association (KAV) can provide a total of approximately 500 beds for the treatment of patients with epidemic or pandemic diseases. If this number should not be sufficient, roughly 200 more beds are available at Vienna’s private hospitals. 880 beds have been put up at the Messe Wien trade fair and event centre, which has been turned into a makeshift hospital for persons with mild symptoms of the COVID-19 disease, who cannot be treated at home for various reasons.

 

Source: https://coronavirus.wien.gv.at/site/faq-english/

 

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Languages »
Capitals' Initiative
Logo
Login/Register access is temporary disabled
Close Bitnami banner
Bitnami