By now, you’ve probably heard about this new coronavirus epidemic that started in China and spread to more than a dozen countries., I’m declaring a public health emergency of international concern over the global outbreak of novel coronavirus.
This new coronavirus is part of this massive family of viruses that includes everything from SARS. On one hand, which is a deadly infection to the common cold, which is far from deadly., Based on very early data. We’Re seeing that infected people seem to have a fever.
A cough and a viral pneumonia., So a really bad chest infection. It seems a little bit different from what we saw with SARS back in 2002, where people were more likely to have a sore throat, a runny nose and diarrhea.
There’s already evidence that this new coronavirus does spread from person to person.. The interesting thing is, it seems to be more infectious than SARS and other coronavirus, but less deadly.
So at the moment, we think that the death rate from the new coronavirus is around 2.5 to 3.5 %. For SARS it was in the double digits.
It was at least 10 or 11 %. The incubation period for the new coronavirus could be three to six days. Some experts day, but others say it could be as many as 14 days.
That number keeps changing as we get more information, but here’s one of the worrying things. It looks like some people with this infection were contagious even before they had any symptoms themselves.. If that’s true, that could make it trickier to get a handle on the epidemic.
So what do you need to do to protect yourself? The answer to that really depends on who you are and where you are., If you are in China, you’re gon na, have to take different precautions to if you live in the United States.. So far, the guidance for Americans is practice good hand.
Hygiene’Cause we’re in the middle of flu season and you should get your flu shot, because flu kills tens of thousands of Americans every year. And go to a credibly website like cdc.gov or the WHO website, and they will have travel guidance there. For you that’s updated day by day.
This new epidemic is serious, but here’s the thing. As this new virus spreads, so does misinformation about the virus as well as a spread of fear and panic.. If people get really scared during an epidemic, one thing that they might do is descend on their local hospitals, using up resources and packing the place.
When really the doctors there need to focus on the people who are seriously ill.. What you need during a public health crisis is information and calm., And it’s very frustrating to see on social media that there are so-called scientists, some people who should know better, really inciting panic and fear among the public.
There’S misinformation spreading right now about the new coronavirus. Outbreak. Everything from people saying that you should drink bleach to cure it.
Please do not ever for any reason, drink, bleach., Something I thought I would never have to say., But also really racist and xenophobic things are spreading. Things like you shouldn’t go to Chinatown.
If you live in London., That’s absolutely ridiculous. It’S racist nonsense.! This is not the first time that misinformation and disinformation about an epidemic has been spread on social media.
We saw this in 2014 to 2016. During the West African Ebola epidemic., We saw all sorts of rumors then. Things like if you eat raw onions or eat ground coffee that that would cure the disease.
And not only was that not true, but it can be really harmful if somebody’s exposed to that, and they believe that more than they believe a credible source.. Something that’s blowing my mind right now with this new coronavirus epidemic is how quickly we are getting new information.
There’S already a hospital in China trying out new antiviral medicines.. There are already scientists in different parts of the world working on various vaccines for this coronavirus.
It would be amazing if one of the experimental vaccines became available during this epidemic, but that’s not really likely just based on history and how long it can take to develop a vaccine and check it in animals and check it for safety in humans.. But it is still astonishing just how quickly we’re making progress. You compare that to previous epidemics.
We’Ve had of new infections, we’ve been way behind before., And so with this outbreak, I’m really keeping a close eye on how different authorities from different countries are working with each other., Because you can’t deal with an epidemic as if it’s just one country’s problem.
Nowadays, an epidemic anywhere is a threat everywhere. The way that this might end is that the infection just peters out. We get a handle on the epidemic.
We find the people who are sick and we also find their close contacts to make sure that they don’t go on and pass the infection to others. It’s a troubling outbreak. But it’s something that we are expecting. In the public health world.
We’Re always looking out for the next new virus, the next big epidemic., And what we’re seeing with this epidemic is public health systems are gearing up and they are going into action as they are prepared. To.
What you should stay safe is stay on top of the news. Look for credible sources do not believe the BS and be prepared, but do not panic and do not let anyone else make. You feel panicked.