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Are passed bodies contagious? Your COVID-19 questions answered

  • April 19, 2020

We’re responding your questions about a pandemic. Send yours to and we’ll answer as many as we can. We’ll tell a preference of answers each weekday online, and also put some questions to a experts during The National and on CBC News Network. So distant we’ve perceived some-more than 20,000 emails from all corners of a country.

Can a coronavirus widespread from a passed body?

Fran J. sent this doubt about either a pathogen can burst from a passed to a living.

Right now, Health Canada has no transparent answer, though here’s what we do know:

SARS-CoV-2 (the correct name for a coronavirus obliged for COVID-19) can sojourn spreading on different surfaces for varying amounts of time

“So, it would be probable that a pathogen could insist and sojourn spreading in or on a physique of someone who has died,” says Dr. Ilan Schwartz, spreading illness dilettante and partner highbrow during a University of Alberta. 

During a initial SARS conflict in 2003, information suggested a pathogen could sojourn spreading in corporeal fluids such as blood, urine and feces for 72 to 96 hours, says Jason Kindrachuk, microbiologist and partner highbrow during a University of Manitoba. 

“This doesn’t ideally impersonate what happens in a person, though it gives us some ideas on how fast coronaviruses are in opposite corporeal fluids and competence give some information on SARS-CoV-2,” Kindrachuk said.

This means it is still probable for someone who handles or touches a physique putrescent with a pathogen to also turn infected, says Schwartz.

Patrick Curry, a behaving boss of Nova Scotia’s Funeral Service Association tells CBC News “Things have altered utterly drastically.” He adds it is critical to caring for people who have mislaid desired ones, though also stay divided from them physically. 

Funeral services, generally rituals that call for a physique to be cleared and shrouded, are adapting to a pandemic.

Is it safer to use a self check-out or a cashier?

This good doubt comes from Alice in Ottawa. 

“Although self-check out allows we to stretch from others, it also requires touching some-more surfaces,” says Siyun Wang, associate highbrow of food reserve engineering during a University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems.

But Wang says a risk of infection during a grocery store is low, if we “go where there are fewer people and emporium efficiently, since person-to-person hit is a series one concern.” She also says it’s good to minimize a volume of time we spend in a store and to use a touchless remuneration method.

Jeffrey Farber, executive of a Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety and a highbrow during a University of Guelph adds: “In both cases, consumers should be wiping their hands with a disinfectant clean before they leave a store during a exit, and afterwards again when they come home, and again after they put a groceries divided when they get home.” 

He also reminds everybody to rinse their hands before they eat.

WATCH | How to grocery emporium during a pandemic:

My family was ill in Dec and January.  How do we know it wasn’t COVID-19?

Rebecca T. is wondering either she and her family could have been putrescent with a coronavirus. She says they all had a fever, cough and problem breathing. Our inbox is flooded with identical questions.

Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an spreading illness medicine in Edmonton, says it’s “not impossible” her family had COVID-19. 

“But during a same time we were in a throes of a unequivocally bad influenza deteriorate [in Dec and January] so it’s a flattering high odds it was influenza. 

“Now people who had a concordant illness during a duration that COVID was around would be presumably means to be tested to see if they have antibodies opposite a infection, that would request either you’d formerly been putrescent or not.”

All provinces are looking during how we competence start regulating that contrast once it’s available, she adds.

“So a answer is that some people competence be means to find out if they’d been putrescent even if they didn’t have a swab, though not utterly yet.” 

For more, watch a CBC special COVID-19 in Canada.

How prolonged does someone who is asymptomatic remain contagious?

New investigate suggests asymptomatic carriers are adding to a spread of a virus. This means we don’t have to feel sick, to make others sick.

How prolonged is a “silent spreader” contagious? This is a tough question because, but symptoms, it is really formidable to establish either someone indeed has a pathogen unless they’re tested.

Right now, some provinces and territories are contrast for asymptomatic carriers among health-care providers and those who live in long-term caring homes.

That’s one of a reasons since Health Canada is recommending a 14-day self-isolation for anyone who believes they competence have been unprotected to a coronavirus.

“This is a disreputable virus,” pronounced Health Minister Patty Hajdu.  “Some people don’t feel ill during all. And that’s why… earthy enmity is so critically important. We have to act as if we are all carrying this virus.”

COVID-19 patients with amiable or no symptoms were about half as spreading as symptomatic ones, according to Jeffrey Shaman, a highbrow of environmental health sciences during Columbia University in New York, who examined China’s outbreak. But since they felt fine, they trafficked and putrescent some-more people. Read some-more about asymptomatic delivery research.

We’re also responding your questions each night on The National. Doctors answer your questions about a COVID-19 pestilence and if we can turn putrescent in a open bathroom. Watch below:

Wednesday we answered questions about antibody contrast and safely stealing rubber gloves

Keep your questions coming by emailing

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