Over the last several weeks, there has been a health outbreak causing concerns around the world. That would be the coronavirus or COVID-19. Is the coronavirus contagious? At this point, it surely is, but it depends on where you live and your age. But there’s no doubt that if exposed to the virus, anyone can get seriously ill.
Is the coronavirus contagious?
The coronavirus is a severe respiratory illness that first developed out in China. It has been reported that it may have come about from an animal source (specifically the fish market), and it quickly spread to humans. There have a dozen cases reported in China, Europe, and now across the United States. Although it is very concerning, I think it’s overhyped of what is being said. In this post, I will discuss the following points:
1.) COVID-19 Symptoms
2.) Similar cases: SARS and the Swine Flu
3.) The numbers so far (as of March 16, 2020)
4.) Is it overhyped? My thoughts
Is the coronavirus contagious: COVID-19 symptoms
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), signs of the coronavirus include:
- Shortness of breath.
- The CDC has reported patients experiencing pneumonia in their lungs.
These symptoms can appear between two days to fourteen days. Similar to past outbreaks, people who exposed to others with these symptoms are at considerable risk.
Steps taken to address the outbreak
Many organizations and governments have taken steps to address the epidemic. The World Health Organization officials declared it a pandemic. The US government took similar steps to maintain a public emergency, including a travel ban from Europe. Now that there have been dozens of cases reported in the US, it’s getting more attention as the outbreak grows.
A similar case (SARS)
There has been a similar outbreak to the coronavirus. The best-related one is SARS or severe acute respiratory syndrome. SARS affected around 8000 plus individuals, with approximately 774 deaths reported between 2002-2003. The SARS fatality rate has a 9.6% rate, compared to the 2.1% rate for the coronavirus. Although the coronavirus is not as severe as SARS, that could change.
Other cases (Swine Flu & MERS)
Not only was SARS a significant outbreak in China, but other health epidemics included the Swine Flu. The Swine Flu (H1N1 influenza) broke out in 2009, and there were multiple cases reported in the US. Additionally, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) started in Saudi Arabia back in 2012. Some examples have been here and there within the last several years.
Current Numbers (as of March 17, 2020)
There have been a dozen cases reported in the US. As of this post, there are appropriately 4226 cases in the US (75 deaths), according to the CDC website. In my home state of Illinois, the number of instances has spiked since the month began. There are 105 coronavirus cases in Illinois. Furthermore, the governor of Illinois has ordered all restaurants and bars to close for the next two weeks. It’s one reason why the US government has declared it a public health emergency.
Is the media coverage of coronavirus overhyped?
In the last few weeks, the coronavirus has received a lot of attention in the news. It’s like there’s a panic that needs our utmost care. In my opinion, it's ok to be concerned. We need to stay calm, focused, and vigilant in the coming days and weeks. It’s one reason why the financial markets spooked out about it. But the market dropping probably had more to do than this severe health issue. (That explanation is for another post)
When I first heard about the coronavirus, I knew it wasn’t right. The symptoms are severe, and the numbers shouldn’t be ignored. I may be concerned, but I think it’s all hype. The media these days take stories such as this one out of context and turn into more fear-mongering sometimes. The only people who benefit are the ones who work in government and the media. Their ultimate goals are to control people, gain more power, and make money.
Overall, the coronavirus is a legitimate health concern globally. It’s contagious if you’re surrounded by others who experience the symptoms. But similar to the Swine Flu, I don’t think it’s going to turn out as a massive health epidemic. The majority of people won’t die, and it’s not the end of the world. The number of cases may go up, but I think they’ll dwindle as we’ve seen with previous health outbreaks.
Moreover, the main point is not to take the media or people in power when it comes to health scares. As I mentioned earlier, their goals are control and power. If you’ve been in contact with somebody, or happen to experience symptoms of this virus, take precautions and seek immediate medical advice.
What do you think of the coronavirus? Do you agree that the news coverage is overhyped and not worth it?
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