The coronavirus has launched into 2020 like a bat out of hell!
Many stories have been published on this covid-19/novel coronavirus.
We all spent January 2020, watching the various news media outlets report on what was happening in Wuhan, China. Watching their response and praying it never gets to our country. Well, now we see that ‘the corona’ is spreading faster than a tornado through Tennessee and supposedly doing more damage than a category five hurricane racing through the Caribbean and up the coast of Florida!
Where is the Coronavirus?
Over 90 countries are grappling to find resources to fight covid-19.
South Korea, Italy, Japan, Iran, the United Kingdom and now the United States. Every continent is said to be impacted by this plague, except Antarctica. I guess no one has been evacuated to there yet!
About 19 states, including Washington State, Oregon, California, New York, and even Maryland most recently, had its first cases. And in the last couple of days, many more have been added to this list of affected States.
Here’s the breakdown of the 179 cases across 19 states:
- Arizona: 2
- California: 49 (including 1 death)
- Colorado: 2
- Florida: 4
- Georgia: 2
- Illinois: 5
- Maryland: 3
- Massachusetts: 3
- Nevada: 1
- New Hampshire: 2
- New Jersey: 2
- New York: 22
- North Carolina: 1
- Oregon: 3
- Rhode Island: 2
- Tennessee: 1
- Texas: 4
- Washington state: 70 (including 13 deaths)
- Wisconsin: 1
What Should We Believe About the Coronavirus?
Cruise ships are being denied safe harbor in many countries. One was turned away from docking in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Another Princess cruise now sits out at sea off the coast of California.
But how many people have died or have contracted the coronavirus?
Is the response enough?
Should we believe the hype or should we look closer to the data?
Let’s explore the facts, to see how the coronavirus vs. the flu and cold virus really impacts the world and/or the United States.
Coronavirus vs. The Flu or Cold Virus
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the coronavirus “has a higher case-fatality ratio and a higher reproduction number than influenza – meaning it could spread more widely.”
The BBC reports that “as of March 2, a total of 88,913 cases of COVID-19 have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) – and 90% of those are in China, mostly in one province. In China, a total of 2,912 people have died, whereas, outside China, there have been 127 deaths, among 8,739 cases in 61 countries. More than 130 countries haven’t detected a case yet.”
The disease has upped the anti has is now being transmitted through community spread in the United States. Before it was through direct contact or person-to-person spread.
According to the CDC, “Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.”
What is the Death Rate of Coronavirus (Covid-19) vs. The Flu?
Winter is on its way out, with just a few weeks to go. But the US has had millions of flu cases. In fact, the WEF surmises that “32 million flu illnesses and 18,000 deaths from flu” have occurred.
So, as of March 6, 2020:
- Flu kills 18,000/32,000,000
- Coronavirus kills 3,300/98,000
Important Facts to Remember
According to the CDC, the “novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19.”
The BBC says only 2% to 5% of those infected die from the illness and these figures are showing up largely in people 60 years and older. During the course of any year, the flu kills over 400,000 or has a death rate of 0.1%in the US.
The CDC puts this number at about 0.06%.
So far, the coronavirus has a percentage death rate of approximately “1.4% outside China – to 3.4% if you include the China figures.”
You Decide Which Kills More People Coronavirus (Covid-19) or The Flu or Cold Virus?
As of March 6, 2020, there have been 3,387 coronavirus fatalities. In the United States, 228 coronavirus cases, but only 14 deaths.
During the same period, there have been over 86,700 seasonal flu deaths. This figure is expected to grow to an average of 290,000 and estimated to above 650,000 globally.
In the space of the time it took for me to write this section, 11 more persons have died. 😦
That means over 1700 people dying of the flu each day.
How to Protect Yourself and Your family for the Coronavirus
We can look to the World Health Organization for some insight on how to protect ourselves and practice good hygiene habits.
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough.
- If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your healthcare provider.
- When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.
- The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
For constant updates on this outbreak of covid-19, check out the situational reports on the WHO website.
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