There currently is substantial contradictory info about the Coronavirus outbreak starting in China. Should we be worried and how best to prepare for the eventuality of an epidemic here? First, we have yearly outbreaks termed flu season which for the past decade has resulted in an average of 34,000 deaths a year in the US. WOW! This is an estimate by CDC because death certificates often are vague as to cause of death and the flu frequently results in pneumonia which may be listed and is not specific for flu.
Infectious disease experts opine that the coronavirus outbreak is now a pandemic which is an epidemic on two or more continents. The CDC’s estimation of the incubation period ranges from as short as 2 days to two weeks from exposure.
Flu, unfortunately, is not considered as dangerous as the previously cited figures recommend because the mortality rates are consistently about one death in a thousand flu infections: not too scary but tens of millions of us get the flu and the flu season can’t currently be banned, so it is accepted.
But restarting the topic of coronavirus’ danger, in contrast to the low mortality rates of influenza viruses, the Chinese government states the current coronavirus’ mortality rate is 2%. If the average flu viruses’ mortality rate was elevated to that level the US mortality rate would be 680,000 deaths per year. WOW!!
A coronavirus vaccine is still 12-18 months away.
The proper actions in both instances in both flu season and “corona season” should be to take proper precautions such as I have outlined in prior communications.
- Avoid public gatherings with large numbers of attendees.
- Avoid touching lips, nose, or eyes with unwashed hands.
- If you are in ill health and an epidemic occurs in the US stay home!
- During epidemics wash hands frequently for 30 seconds concentrating on fingers and nails, especially when going out.
- Keep hand sanitizer with 60% or more alcohol accessible when handwashing is not accessible.
- Wash hands well before eating finger food. Do this in restaurants before eating. You may have touched doorknobs or chairs there.
- Keep 10 feet away from anyone coughing or sneezing.
- If seated in public places such as movies or church if near a cougher move away.
- Do not touch the rim of drinking cups or glasses and do not drink from contaminated utensils touched there by others.
- If you see restaurant employees contaminating utensils, politely tell the manager.
- Keep away from anyone who is sick with a fever and coughing.
- Keep an OTC lozenges Cold-eeze handy and take when around anyone coughing or with first signs of cold-like symptoms.