Tips To Prepare For The Coronavirus

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Are we got some really great questions from listeners? And I want to start with this one from Mattie Park in Ventura California okay. I'm just wondering how many people who get the corona virus actually die. How dangerous is it? Really? How much more likely is it to lead to death than the regular flu? You know. I'm afraid we might be whipping up some hysteria about this disease. Well I would say that. The good news is that so far. Most of the illnesses have been mild in China. Eighty percent of the cases have been classified as mild. This needs symptoms such as you know a dry cough may be a low grade fever something similar to a cold or perhaps the flu now. The death rate is estimated to be about two percent and this is really important to point out. It means that ninety eight percent of people who get this. Don't die from the virus right. Mattie asks how this compares to flu well the answer is that flu has a mortality rate of about point one percent or about one thousand. But here's something to keep in mind. Also that I think is really important. This two percent estimate is really provisional. It could be off. I mean early in an outbreak the sickest people are identified and there may be people with more mild cases have not been accounted for so that could throw off the calculation and it's possible that the death rate is even lower mean here in the. Us There are only a small number of cases but so far there have been no deaths and the people who do die in China tend to be older. The average age is in the seventies and the thought really is the people who are already in poor health due to medical conditions or habits such as smoking. The day are most vulnerable are their symptoms. That people should be on the lookout for and how are people who are sick actually treated sure well? Early symptoms include fever dry cough. Some people experience fatigue headaches less frequently. There's diarrhea the treatment is typically what healthcare professionals would call supportive care and that really just means giving medicines to keep a fever down making sure the person stays hydrated so plenty of fluids now shortness of breath can develop and that would be assigned. You need medical attention in a clinical setting. They can use a breathing machine to assist with breathing now. There was something that a bunch of people wrote in saying that they were confused about and that was something that Nancy Messina of the. Cdc said yesterday Yes we are asking the American public to work with us to prepare it in the expectation that this could be bad okay. One listener heard that in wrote to us. What does that mean exactly? It's completely unhelpful. Bottom line is what do we do in a practical sense? I completely get that. I think big picture here. There is no cause for panic right now but now is the time to prepare as we just heard the. Cdc says it's a longer question if if it's now when now we won't see outbreaks everywhere all at once in this country it could be cluster in a small town or maybe in the middle of an urban area. We don't know but think about this the way you think about preparing for snow storm or a Hurricane. It may not come. It may not happen but if it does you'd be smart to prepare. You may want to have some extra food in your cupboards have basic medications such as Aspirin Ibuprofen on hand. I spoke to Rebecca cats. She's director of the Center for Global Health Science and security at Georgetown University in this situation. If you have widespread virus in your community you may not want to go to a public drugstore. You may want to figure out ways you can distance yourself from other people. You also may want to think about what you do if your kids schools are closed. What is your daycare backup? Plan talk to your employers about working from home. Think through the details of that. It's really just about good

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