Corona Virus: how to deal with it

Corona Virus: how to deal with it

Given the recent notification of the Ministry of Health (Indications for operators of services / businesses in contact with the public), some information is provided below for those who perform their work in contact with the public.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses known to cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

The most common symptoms consist of fever, dry cough, sore throat, breathing difficulties. Currently available information suggests that the virus may cause both a mild, flu-like form and a more serious form of the disease.

Corona Virus F.A.Q.

Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions regarding the Corona Virus.What are the symptoms of a person infected with a Coronavirus?

It depends on the virus, but the most common symptoms include fever, cough, breathing difficulties. In severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.How dangerous is the new virus?

Like other respiratory diseases, new coronavirus infection can cause mild symptoms such as cold, sore throat, cough and fever, or more severe symptoms such as pneumonia and breathing difficulties. It can rarely be fatal.

The people most susceptible to severe forms are the elderly and those with pre-existing diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.How new Coronavirus can be transmitted from person to person?

The new Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that mainly spreads through close contact with a sick person.

The primary way is the breath droplets of infected people, for example through: saliva, coughing and sneezing, direct personal contact, hands, i.e. by touching with contaminated hands (not yet washed) mouth, nose or eyes.

In rare cases, infection can occur through faecal contamination.

Normally respiratory diseases are not transmitted with food, which in any case must be handled respecting good hygiene practices and avoiding contact between raw and cooked food.

Studies are underway to better understand how the virus is transmitted.How long does the incubation period?

The incubation period represents the period of time between contagion and the development of clinical symptoms. It is currently estimated that it varies between 2 and 11 days, up to a maximum of 14 days. How long does the new Coronavirus survive on surfaces?

Preliminary information suggests that the virus may survive several hours, even if it is still under study.

The use of simple disinfectants is able to kill the virus by canceling its ability to infect people, for example disinfectants containing 75% alcohol (ethanol) or 1% chlorine-based (bleach).Is it safe to receive parcels from China or other countries where the virus has been identified?

Yes, it is safe. WHO has said that people who receive parcels are not at risk of contracting the new Coronavirus because it is unable to survive on surfaces for long.What can I do to protect myself?

Stay informed on the spread of the epidemic, available on the WHO website and take the following personal protection measures:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based solutions to get the virus out of your hands
  • keep a certain distance – at least one meter – from other people, especially when they cough or sneeze or if they have a fever, because the virus is contained in saliva droplets and can be breathed at close range.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands.
  • If you have a fever, cough or breathing difficulties and have recently traveled to China or if you have been in close contact with a person who has returned from China and is suffering from respiratory disease, report it to the free number 1500, set up by the Ministry of Health.

Remember that there are several causes of respiratory diseases, and the new coronavirus may be one of them.

If you have mild symptoms and have not recently been to China, stay at home until symptoms are resolved by applying hygiene measures, which include hand hygiene (wash your hands often with soap and water or alcoholic solutions) and respiratory tract (sneezing or coughing in a tissue or with the elbow flexed, use a mask and throw the used tissues in a closed basket immediately after use and wash your hands).

Reports and Probability

Attached are the ten rules indicated by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità. The update of the epidemiological situation is available on the website of the Ministry of Health.

Further operational information can be obtained through the Regional Health Authorities or the free number of the Ministry of Health, +39 1500

Info and Links

Particularly interesting the “Operational guidelines for workers in contact with the public” contained within the circular.

It is recommended to rely on information found only on reliable sources such as:

• WHO (
• ECDC (
• Ministry of Health (
• ISS ( sites.

The measures must consider the risk situation which, as can be seen from the above information, is currently characterized in Italy by the absence of virus circulation.

Furthermore, as can be seen from the notification dated 1/31/2020 relating to the identification of cases and contacts at risk, the latter are only those who have had close and protracted contacts with the sick.

Therefore, with exception of health workers, it is considered sufficient to adopt common preventive measures about spread of diseases transmitted by the respiratory tract, and in particular:

• wash your hands frequently;
• pay attention to surface hygiene;
• avoid close and protracted contracts with people with flu-like symptoms.
• take any further preventive measures dictated by the employer.

If, during the working activity, you come into contact with a subject who responds to the definition of suspect case referred to in annex 1 of the Ministry of Health notification 27/1/2020 (which updates the previous one of 22/1/2020) 2, we will proceed – directly or in compliance with indications provided by the company – to contact the health services indicating that this is a suspect case for nCoV.

Pending the arrival of the health care workers:

• avoid close contact with the sick person;
• if available, provide it with a surgical mask;
• wash your hands thoroughly. Pay particular attention to the body surfaces that have possibly come into contact with the patient’s fluids (respiratory secretions, urine, feces);
• the patient himself must throw the used paper directly into a waterproof bag, which will be disposed of in another one with the infected materials produced during the emergency activities of the rescue personnel.

The measures above-described apply to all student students of any nationality who attend the University courses and specifically to the students who in the 14 days before their arrival in Italy have been in the areas affected by the epidemic, daily updated by the World Health Organization.

It is strongly suggested to get information only on the websites WHO (, ECDC (, Ministero Salute (, ISS (

Prof. Andrea Magrini
Medico Competente Coordinatore
Università di Roma Tor Vergata Dott. Marco Sciarra
Responsabile Servizio Prevenzione e Protezione
Università di Roma Tor Vergata

Annex 1 definition of a suspected case:

Definition of suspected case of COVID-19 for the reporting:
The definition of case is based on the information currently available and it might change relative to the evolution of the epidemiological situation and the scientific knowledges

Suspicious case
A person with severe acute respiratory infection (with a sudden onset of fever and cough) who has requested or not hospitalization, and in the 14 days preceding the onset of symptoms, has met at least one of the following conditions:

• Travel or residency in China
• Contact with either a possible or a confirmed case of infection of SARS-CoV-2
• the patient is a healthcare professional who has worked in an environment where patients with acute respiratory infections of unknown aetiology are being treated.

It is here underlined that the positivity to a common respiratory disease does not exclude the possible coinfection with the new Coronavirus and therefore the samples will be tested anyway.

Prevention departments and local Health Services will evaluate:Paragraph

– Eventual direct and documented exposures in other countries with local transmission of SARS-CoV-2
– people who manifest an unusual or unexpected clinical course, especially a sudden deterioration, despite an appropriate treatment, regardless of the residency place or travel history of the patient, even if another etiology has been identified and it fully explains the clinical situation.

Tor Vergata on board the International Space Station

Tor Vergata on board the International Space Station

Tor Vergata University of Rome’s Department of Physics together with the INFN – Istituto Nazionale Fisica Nucleare  (National Institute of Nuclear Physics) contributed to the missions of the ISS – International Space Station with 6 experiments which will help the astronauts in collecting important data:

LIDAL (Light Ion Detector for ALTEA) one of these six experiments on board the ISS, was started by astronaut Luca Parmitano, who departed last July with the Beyond mission of the European Space Agency.

LIDAL: Light Ion Detector for ALTEA

LIDAL is a particle detector entirely designed in the Physics Department of Tor Vergata University (by the research team of prof. Livio Narici, in collaboration with Kayser Italia of Livorno) to measure the charged component of the radiation inside the International Space Station.

LIDAL was brought into orbit by the Cygnus NG-12 cargo shuttle (last November) and was built starting from the ASI ALTEA payload, which operated on the International Space Station between 2006 and 2012, expanding and improving its technical characteristics. Telespazio and the ASI – Italian Space Agency also worked on the installation of the payload.

LIDAL will remain on board the ISS for at least 18 months during which it will provide data relating to the kinetic energy of the particles and to all the physical parameters necessary for a better knowledge of the radioactive environment to which astronauts are subjected. Also it will provide a comprehensive assessment of the radiation hazard on astronauts.

ALTEA Space: Studying cosmic rays in the International Space Station

AUDIO – Acoustic Diagnostics

Following the hearing disorders reported by astronauts on the ISS after a few months of staying in micro gravity conditions, AUDIO assesses any damage to the auditory system by comparing the audiological tests performed on astronauts before and after the mission, and performing others during their stay in orbit.

The team of the Physics Department of Tor Vergata University of Rome led by prof. Arturo Moleti developed the necessary instrumentation for an innovative technique for the measurement of oto-acoustic distortion products (DPOAE), capable of providing an assessment of the auditory function in a noisy environment, in a fast, non-invasive way, and without the active participation of astronauts.

The Mini-EUSO telescope is designed to perform observations of the UV light emission from Earth.

MiniEUSO experiment

MiniEUSO ( is a compact telescope with a wide field of view, which uses a lens based on Fresnel lenses and is designed to perform observations on the emission of UV rays of cosmic, atmospheric and terrestrial origin.

Positioned in front of the window of the Russian Zvezda module of the International Space Station, it will collect light in order to study atmospheric phenomena, transient light events and to detect cascades of cosmic rays.

The entire MiniEUSO device was developed in the Physics Department of Tor Vergata University and in the National Institute of Nuclear Physics section of Rome “Tor Vergata”, under the guidance of prof. Marco Casolino.

AMS-02 is a state-of-the-art particle physics detector, designed to operate as an external module on the International Space Station (ISS).

AMS-02 Alpha Magnetic Spectometer

Tor Vergata University also collaborates in the experiment of AMS – 02 Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (, a cosmic particle tracker (brought into orbit in 2001 with the STS-134 mission) designed to operate as an external module to the International Space Station (ISS).

Thanks to the ignition of the new UTTPS (Upgraded Tracker Thermal Pump System) cooling system, the antimatter hunter AMS-02 resumed the data acquisition and will continue studying cosmic rays up until the ISS will remain in operation.

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer is an orbiting laboratory for particle physics whose purpose is to precisely study the composition and abundance of cosmic rays in space in search of traces of primordial antimatter and dark matter.

The new cooling system was installed by ESA astronauts Luca Parmitanoand NASA‘s Andrew Morgan. For the Italian astronaut, this is the sixth extravehicular mission in his career, the fourth during the Beyond mission.

The result of an international collaboration between 56 institutes and 16 countries, the AMS-02 experiment will allow to study the influence of solar activity on the radiation environment around the Earth, providing for the first time information on the behavior of the different components of radiation to energies not monitored by other instruments in orbit.

ESA Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano on the International Space Station.

An Italian collaboration

Italy has made a fundamental contribution to the realization of the instrument, developing five of the six detectors that compose it, participating in the control of orbiting operations and in the sophisticated work of scientific data analysis.

The Italian collaboration saw the participation of researchers from the Tor Vergata University of Rome and INFN Italian National Nuclear Physics Institute of Rome Tor Vergata, University of Bologna, University of MilanBicocca, University of Perugia, University of Rome la Sapienza, University of Pisa and University of Trento.

The mission was carried out jointly by ASI (Italian Space Agency) and INFN, both in the development phase of the instrumentation (2000-2011) and in the current phase of orbit operation and analysis of scientific data.