The country is getting more scared by the day with more cases of the coronavirus popping up in airports, cruise ships, and high-density cities.
But what do we really know about the novel disease COVID-19, and what kind of danger are we truly in?
The coronavirus is respiratory . Patients with the coronavirus have had symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Severe cases have experienced pneumonia in both lungs and multi-organ failure, according to the Center of Disease Control.
The disease mainly spreads through coughs and sneezes of someone who is infected. A secondary way of transferring the disease is by touching a surface or object that has the virus..
Left with only this information, it’s understandable why people are really scared about this disease. Once we look at the numbers, the bigger picture seems to rest some nerves.
According to the CDC, the United States has a confirmed 423 cases of the coronavirus as of March 9. Only 19 of those cases have death.
According to the CDC, the flu has already taken the lives of more people than the coronavirus and has infected millions of others. It is entirely possible that the person you know who is sick has the flu, not the coronavirus.
Health Science professor Jenifer Turloc gives reassuring advice to her students who come to her about the disease, and overall staying healthy during this season.
“Just wash your hands and stay away from those who are sick. If you are sick, try to avoid being around people,” Turloc said.
Dr. Richard Carvajal, the president of Valdosta State, has put out a statement via VSU email reassuring students that if the disease does come into the area that the university has protocols and procedures to handle the situation.
The mainstream media has covered every case since the outbreak in China, so the extra coverage seems to cause a lot of unrest in many people. Cruise ships and airports being shut down in efforts to quarantine victims has spread paranoia throughout the country.
This is an effort by officials to learn as much about the disease in the shortest amount of time while also containing the virus and helping others. Since this disease has made a big jump in infection rate, the increased media coverage is helping and hurting the public.
“There is a lot we don’t know about [the coronavirus], but we are acting a bit jittery,” said Turloc.
The CDC recommends that if you do get sick with the coronavirus, it is important that you stay home and call ahead to your doctor. Wearing a facemask and covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough will help prevent the spread of any other respiratory diseases.
Until the virus comes into the city limits, it seems that we should treat this season of sickness like any other. We need to have increased awareness of our health habits and staying clean, but going about our daily lives.
Written by Ben Strickland, Staff Writer. Photo courtesy of VSU Spectator.