Coronavirus most current information
You will hear from our experts on the state on the status of our knowledge about the SARS-COV-2 virus and the induced disease COVID-19, and of the importance of acting quickly and effectively. We have the facts and the scientific evidence, and now we need to act.
One of the best collective actions we can take is to help dilute the shockwave of this epidemic, so that our healthcare system can deal with it and help those of us who need help. Social distancing is one of the most effective measures to achieve this and this is why EPFL must reduce its face-to-face courses as much as possible, while guaranteeing good learning conditions. As of tomorrow, Wednesday 11 March, all courses with more than 150 students will be exclusively broadcasted online, and access to the classrooms will no longer be possible for these courses. They will be recorded and therefore available for replay. As students of our school, you are actors of this strategy. Help us to implement it. Explain the reasons around you, using the facts that have been communicated to you and, of course, apply this principle of distancing in your extra-curricular life to the best of your ability. We continue to follow the evolution of COVID-19 and will keep you informed of any further measures. Reason and altruism are effective tools in this situation. They are also fundamental values of EPFL.
Like the rest of our community, the EPFL campus is faced with an epidemics with the coronavirus that came from the animal kingdom and invaded the human population starting in China, and now spreading throughout the world. Causing mostly respiratory syndroms but quite serious ones mainly in older people or people that have other types of pathologies like in the cardiovascular system or in the lungs or that have problems with their immunology and these respiratory syndromes leading to pneumonia, can be lethal in some cases in this selected sub-population. The virus is transmitted via the secretions one produces when coughing for instance and we are lead to take measures to take steps to minimise the role of EPFL in disseminating the disease throughout the population. The student population, that is very numerous could spread the disease if it were to install itself in the campus in various regions, either locally or more distantly and therefore, we think that there are measures that we need to take, that will help us propagate the good word, as to what is the right attitude to limit the spread of the disease and not spread the contagion itself.
As said, EPFL is also facing this crisis like everyone else. We are in the beginning of an epidemic and this epidemic curve is coming and it is now the role I think of everyone to make sure we can flatten this curve and push it out as much as possible. We do this for two reasons: we flatten the curve to make sure that the vulnerable population that will be most affected – elderly people and people with background illnesses – will get the proper treatment at the hospitals, and that we don’t overburden the healthcare system and we are trying to push this out as much as possible so that scientists like us have as much time as possible to develop either treatments or vaccines, and as was just said, EPFL population on average does not count among the vulnerable population. But the young people can be infected just as well and then of course can bring the infection even with very mild symptoms or possibly none to the vulnerable population. And therefore, we must all play our role to prohibit that for as long as possible. And that is why theses measures are taken and make sense also from an epidemiological perspective.
It is really part of the responsibility of all of us now. So what do we know about this virus. This virus that was in animals, probably in bats that through some intermediate came into the human population. It enters in our system by our respiratory airway it multiplies in our lungs and that is why the symptoms induced are those of a pneumonia. And it is also transmitted largely by our secretions by our respiratory secretions, like droplets and so on. It does not seem to invade any other part of our body and it is an acute infection that is not one that lasts forever. People that do not die of the disease get cured and probably have at that point an immunity which is protecting against re-infection. Now what is it that we do not know and would like to know. One is the real prevalence of the disease, the incidence of the disease what fraction really gets infected. And we will know that for sure only once we will have serological surveys. When we will have measured in very large numbers of people, whether they do or do not have antibodies against the disease, as a trace of their infection whether it has been symptomatic or not being symptomatic. We don’t know for sure also whether people can transmit the disease without any symptom. It is probably far less likely than with symptoms, like coughs and spits, but it is not impossible and this we don’t know for sure.
We don’t know, although we suspect it that if you have had infection with another coronavirus like the one that causes some mild, common cold symptoms, you might be somewhat protected which may explain why young people, children, seem to get infected but not to develop many symptoms. And then the last thing we don’t know, is whether climate change or weather change, seasonal changes, will have an influence on the disease, like it has for flu, or common cold, which disappears pretty much in late spring and summer for reasons that are scientifically not very well understood, and it is too early to say, whether this virus, the coronavirus, will undergo the same “pause”, during the hotter months. And this of course would considerably influence our behaviour towards the epidemics. Sıradaki