TUC Covid-19 Resource Center

Frequently Asked Questions

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is part of a large family of coronaviruses, some of which cause illness in people and others that circulate among animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people. This happened with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 2014, and now COVID-19. These viruses may cause mild to severe respiratory illnesses with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common signs of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, particularly those in persons with underlying severe and chronic health issues, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is now spreading from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

What is the incubation period for this virus?

The “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days.

How concerned should I be about contracting COVID-19?

The potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, both globally and to Kenya. Individual risk remains dependent on exposure.

How can I avoid becoming ill?

Protect yourself and others from infection by following these practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading any virus to others. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes in your elbow or sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay at home when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. When used correctly, commercially available disposable disinfectant wipes, cloths, or towelettes are effective for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
  • Avoid sharing household items like dishes, cups, eating utensils, bedding and towels.

I recently returned from an area where COVID-19 is present and have symptoms consistent with coronavirus. What should I do?

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

While both isolation and quarantine refer to methods of preventing the spread of illness, they do not mean the same thing.

Isolation refers to separating people who are sick from those who are not sick.

Quarantine refers to separating people who are, or may have been, exposed to a pathogen, but are not showing signs of illness. Quarantine is used to make sure individuals are not contagious by minimizing contact with people who were not exposed during an illness’ incubation period—the time it takes for symptoms to emerge.

What does social distancing means?

Social distancing is a term that epidemiologists use to refer to the conscious effort to reduce close contact between people, in an effort to reduce community transmission of a virus. Social distancing does not mean avoiding all activities. Examples of social distancing include:

  • Keeping a distance of six feet between you and another person
  • Staggering your work schedule or when you visit places such as the grocery store to hours they are typically not as busy
  • Limiting in-person meetings or social contacts

Is Tangaza University College closed?

The University has moved to a modified operational status that involves a combination of on-campus and remote work. Please confirm with your program leaders, head of departments and deans of various institutes for more information.