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How worried should we be about the spread of COVID-19?

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How worried should we be about the spread of COVID-19?

90.3 KAZU |
2 months ago
90.3 KAZU

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

But doctor when how worried should we be about the spread of covert nineteen the disease caused by the novel coronavirus those of us who might even find ourselves may be far away from California or Washington what what level of concern do you think is appropriate I think that people should be concerned but in the sense that we should be aware ends taking common sense precautions right now you stated that the seat but the CDC said and I agree with them that the risks to everyday Americans is low for the moment but we have to keep in mind that cove in nineteen that this new coronavirus is knew that the situation is rapidly evolving that this virus was just discovered about three months ago and there are now outbreaks around the world and with all these different hot spots happening across the country so we should be prepared for it even though the risk to us individually right now is low we should be prepared for me disruptions in our life if this virus is detected in our communities but there are really simple common sense procedures that we can all take right now including good hands and face hygiene and we can take steps now to think about what would we do in the event of school closures or if mass gatherings in our communities are canceled in the same way that we prepare for hurricanes and other emergencies we should prepare for the potential of a of an outbreak in our communities to everyday preparedness and if you do a little bit each day it's actually not too terribly burdensome to prepare for these things Dr Hamblin you wrote an article in the Atlantic that got a lot of attention you cite research that says in the coming year between forty and seventy percent of people around the world will be infected with the virus that causes code nineteen now that's a scary number forty to seventy percent but but you say it doesn't mean panic what did you mean well I never think that panic is useful but the the virus well the forty to seventy percent number does not mean that many people will be sick or critically ill at all a minority of cases because critical illness and they're mostly among people with chronic conditions and older people but that also is what makes this virus so overall so dangerous is that it can be spread by people who are up and walking around and don't feel that bad the so it that that is a dangerous place for buyers to be usually the viruses that spread like that are just common colds and it's in the interest of a virus to keep its host the person out and functioning in the world and spreading it around to other people if people are kind of walking wounded they can easily spread it versus something like the flu which might knock you on your **** and you know you're sick and you're isolated raid raid and yeah even the flu to do a lot of people it manifests as just a cold you either realize you had the flu and that's part of why it spreads and this is in that this disease in that dangerous zone where it has hi the rate of serious diseases and fatalities but also it is not doesn't universally because that so it can be spread very easily let's talk about that fatality rate for just a moment the World Health Organization released a new fatality rate for coronavirus globally they said about three point four percent of cases have died that's according to the W. H. O. a by comparison seasonal flu the fatality rate is less than one percent this this new coronavirus Italie rate is up there with the so called Spanish flu that we hear about from nineteen eighteen to nineteen nineteen killed millions of people around the world I'm doctor Hammond what do you make of the number that W. H. O. put out three point four percent it's it is hi do you think it's accurate this is a very hotly contested issue among the epidemiologist the disease modelers who I've been speaking to many thanks it is actually lower than that our data are a relatively incomplete because a lot of countries have not been testing and it had not been screening widely so probably not detecting a lot of milder cases so it could come down but that wouldn't necessarily be good ever meet me at the overall casualties that will see globally would be less of a hot debate among epidemiologists especially when such a such a well known organization and it's already like the W. H. O. puts out a number well I want to get to questions that we have from listeners we've been getting a lot of them as you can imagine we wanna take the opportunity while we have our experts here Dr when we got a lot of good questions here's one caller with a number of different concerns my name is Mary and I'm calling from Rohnert park California it's about the corona virus number one I don't understand why it's such a big deal because every year there's a virus or flu and fragile people often die from that to normal so why is this any different because it sounds like it's just another virus is something and number two even though no one were unfamiliar with the between what is the first symptoms and number three if you go to the grocery store do you have to write down your your groceries before you put them away you know because if someone comes to your house may have a cold have to wipe down the doorknobs and faucets so those are my questions so Dr when we have three questions let's do a little bit of rapid fire and deal with these interns how different is corona virus from flu why are we worrying about it so much when flu is so virulent yeah it's a really good question and I've been hearing this from a number of people in different ways one about I think the truth about the numbers right that the flu influenza affect over a million people in the U. S. every year and tens of thousands of people have died this flu season so it is a reasonable question to ask well why are we so concerned about crossfire's when the number of people affected by the flu is so much higher well there is a reason for us to be concerned about it and that's that this is a new virus we don't yet know the trajectory of this virus it could affect many more people as you are referencing and Dr article that that he wrote citing a study it could also be on the we don't yet know about the fatality and the severity the W. H. O. house estimates but that number is ever changing and because this is a new virus too none of us have immunity to it and so I do think it's fair for us to treat it seriously two one to look at this as a potential outbreak that could be and I think we are on the verge of calling this a global pandemic and may in California also asks what are the first symptoms if you are infected this is where we can compare to the flu because the symptoms of coronavirus of cover nineteen are similar to what one might when one has the flu somebody could presents with fever cough difficulty breathing they could also just not be feeling well we know also with club in nineteen some people start with a domino symptoms they might get nausea vomiting diarrhea abdominal pain and it's also important to notice them at the pool at this moment we believe that about eighty percent of those who get infected with coping nineteen have relatively mild symptoms until they recover without needing to go to the hospital or having other interventions and just talked and just real quick doctor when I I I I don't mean to cut you off but we have a break coming up I want to get mace questions in here wiping down doorknobs services faucets in the house a lot of people are doing that wiping down groceries does it make sense to wipe down all the things around you it's not a bad precaution to be taking especially at this time but just know that the way that this virus is transmitted to stir the respiratory route and the best thing we can do is frequent hand washing and wiping down surfaces is a good idea to wash those hands even if the services are dirty if you wash those hands all the time the virus can't get into your mouth or nose that's Dr Leana Wen emergency physician professor at the George Washington Milken institute school of public health were also speaking to Dr James Hamlin staff writer at the Atlantic in a lecture