3 Things You Need to Know About the Coronavirus
(HealthyResearch.com) – It feels like something out of an apocalyptic novel, with the coronavirus hitting 80 countries and the reported deaths surpassing 3,000 in a mere two months. But don’t panic just yet. Yes, there’s reason for concern, but your risks might not be as high as you think. Here are a few important facts to consider.
1. Coronavirus Is Here
As of the CDC’s March 3rd update, there were 118 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in 13 U.S. states: Washington, California, Texas, Arizona, Wisconsin, Illinois, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Oregon, New York and Florida. This number includes those who were brought back to the US for treatment from elsewhere. At least 11 people have fallen ill due to person-to-person transmission, with an additional 27 suspected to have caught the virus this way. As of March 3nd, six Washington residents have died. According to the CDC, the numbers of infected in the U.S. are likely to increase over the next few days, so it’s important to be prepared.
China quarantined 46 million people at one point in 16 cities to slow the disease’s spread. Italy followed suit, restricting 55,000 residents to their homes. Should the coronavirus show signs of spreading here (which appears likely), officials may need to put some U.S. cities on lockdown as well. Plan to have an emergency supply of food on hand, just in case.
2. Symptoms Are Similar to Flu
According to the WHO, coronavirus symptoms are much like those you’d experience with the flu. The organization has analyzed every confirmed case and compiled its findings. Here’s the breakdown:
- Roughly 87.9% have a fever.
- About 67.7% experience a dry cough.
- An estimated 38.1% report fatigue.
- About 18.6% suffer shortness of breath.
Rarer symptoms can include nausea and/or vomiting, stuffy or runny nose, diarrhea, bloody sputum and conjunctivitis. If you develop a fever with a cough, call your doctor right away and keep your distance from other people. Avoid spreading the infection to others by using a tissue or the inside of your elbow when coughing or sneezing.
The incubation time for this virus can run anywhere between 2 and 14 days. However, there have been rare cases where people have developed the illness after that period up to 21 days. It is currently undetermined as to whether individuals are contagious during the incubation period. Some experts in China feel it is likely while experts at the CDC feel it’s not — meanwhile, research continues.
3. Most Cases Are Mild to Moderate
Keep in mind that most people aren’t at risk of developing a life-threatening form of the virus. Roughly 80% of people who contract the new coronavirus experience only mild to moderate illness, with only about 13.8% of the population suffering notably severe symptoms. That said, you are still an infection risk to others, even if you don’t feel bad.
The risk of developing severe symptoms increases with age and poor health: People over 60 years old and anyone with poor immunity, hypertension, diabetes, cancer or respiratory conditions should be especially cautious. People over 80 are at the highest risk, currently suffering a whopping 21.9% mortality rate. If there is good news, it’s that there seems to be very little risk of severe symptoms developing in preadolescent children based on the demographic data we have so far. Kids have been asymptomatic, in general. And that’s the problem. Children with the virus can still be contagious even though they aren’t showing symptoms.
It’s reasonable to be apprehensive about the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s also important to keep a clear head about it. This virus does put some people at an increased risk of fatal pneumonia, but most people could experience only mild to moderate illness. Avoid close contact with anyone who could be sick, practice good hand hygiene, and have a store of food and supplies to prepare for the possibility of a lockdown. By taking some simple precautions, you can reduce the potential risk to yourself and your family.
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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