Corona Virus (Covid-19)
Due to the increasing concern related recent upgrade of COVID-19 to pandemic status, I feel it is important that all clients, their families, close contacts, staff, and all stakeholders involved stay informed and understand how to best protect themselves from illness.
1. We know what it is
With COVID-19, the first cases of severe pneumonia were reported in China on December 31, 2019 and by January 7 the virus had already been identified. The genome was available on day 10. However, 15% of all common colds are caused by a Corona virus
2. How is COVID-19 spread?
It is primarily via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens are spread. It is also spread via direct contact, and self-inoculation, such as when touching your mouth/nose/eyes with infected hands.
3. Majority (80%) of cases are mild
The disease causes no symptoms or is mild in 81% of cases. People who are older or have underlying health conditions seem to be most at risk of having severe disease or complications. While there’s no need to panic, people should take steps to prepare and protect themselves and others from the new coronavirus.
Fear is contagious too
Fear is more contagious than any virus. The entire planet’s media is gripped by coronavirus and it is creating a pandemic of fear.
Different people, different reactions
Not everyone reacts to epidemics the same way and a lot of the hysteria is driven by the media. COVID-19 has been compared to the SARS epidemic in 2003. However, from a health communications standpoint, we are in a completely new era of media. People are taking in information from so many more—and more disreputable sources—than they were in 2003. The media saying “deadly virus” can be misleading, because the virus is not deadly for most people. The fact is, influenza is an illness that is far more deadly but also far more familiar to us.
Iuliano AD, Roguski KM, Chang HH, et al. Estimates of global seasonal influenza-associated respiratory mortality: a modelling study [published correction appears in Lancet. 2018 Jan 19;:]. Lancet. 2018;391(10127):1285–1300. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)33293-2
- Centers for Disease Control. The Flu Season. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season.htm Accessed 3/8/20