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How Does the New Disease Compare With the Flu?

Contagious And Hidden

  • The new virus is contagious, with a high reproduction rate.
  • The people who aren't displaying any outside symptoms are also contagious, making the new virus difficult or even impossible to control.
  • Currently, no one knows how many people are carrying the dormant virus in them while displaying no symptoms.

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How Does the New Disease Compare With the Flu?

How Does the New Disease Compare With the Flu?

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/29/health/coronavirus-flu.html

nytimes.com

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Key Ideas

The New Virus and The Flu

According to health officials, tens of thousands of Americans die from the flu each year, while the new virus has far less infected. 

But the new virus may, in fact, be deadlier, and the death rate according to current estimates is 2 percent, as compared to 0.1 percent death rate of the seasonal flu. It is also highly contagious, making it far riskier.

Contagious And Hidden

  • The new virus is contagious, with a high reproduction rate.
  • The people who aren't displaying any outside symptoms are also contagious, making the new virus difficult or even impossible to control.
  • Currently, no one knows how many people are carrying the dormant virus in them while displaying no symptoms.

No Cure So Far

Older people and those with weak immunity are more susceptible to the virus. Children, who get infected severely by the flu are only showing mild or no symptoms to the new virus.

Flu infects far more people but there are vaccines for it. The new virus currently has no treatment or vaccination.

Current data for the severity of the virus shows that 80 percent have a mild infection, 15 percent had a severe illness and 5 percent critical illness.

Virus Woes

  • Just like the flu, people can become immune to the new virus after recovery, but that immunity can wane.
  • There is no approved antiviral drug or any vaccination for the virus, but several are being tested currently. It is advisable to get a flu shot, due to the flu season.
  • Patients infected with the new virus need oxygen and ventilator support if breathing trouble worsens.
  • Currently, there is no information on how the virus will get affected by the season change and warmer weather.

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The new virus

They are a group of viruses that cause respiratory infections, including the common cold.
They can infect certain animals and spread from one animal to another. They can reach t...

The symptoms

Common symptoms: coughing, fever, and shortness of breath. Non-respiratory symptoms (feeling nauseous, vomiting having diarrhea) were also reported.
The virus is more violent with the elderly, the very young and with individuals that have a weak immune system. The majority of those infected however recover after a few days.

Spreading the virus

Coughs or sneezes from an infected person are the most likely to spread the virus. So it's essential to follow basic hygiene rules:

  • Wash your hand often during the day.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your inner elbow or a napkin.
  • Don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands.
  • Stay inside if you have any of the symptoms and avoid interacting with people that show signs of the infection as well.

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We know what it is

Unlike the AIDs virus that took more than two years to identify, the new virus took only ten days. We know:

  • It is a new virus from group 2B
  • Genetic...

We know how to detect the virus

A test to detect the virus has been available since January 13.

The situation is improving in China

For several weeks now, the number of cases diagnosed daily is dropping.

From a very detailed epidemiological follow-up in other countries, we know outbreaks are very specific to areas and can be controlled easier.

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A lesson from history

Near the end of World War One, the Spanish flu infected over a quarter of the world's population and claimed between 50 and 100 million lives.

During this pandemic, cities around the US ...

The spread of the new virus

  • If you are infected and continue to socialize as normal, you may pass the virus on to between two and three friends or family members, who could then infect a further 2 - 3 people. In one month, this can lead to 244 other cases, and in two months, it can rise to 59,604
  • A silent transmission - people who have been infected, but don't show any symptoms - can occur in up to 10% of cases. These people may not realize that they need to self-isolate.
  • There is evidence that staying at home and maintaining a safe distance from others can slow the spread.

The aim of social distancing

One of the goals of social distancing is to delay the spread of the virus, so it reaches people more slowly

The idea is to lengthen the time period over which the virus travels through a population and push the peak number of cases back so it appears later. With a lower rate of spreading, less infected people will need urgent care and resources at any given time.

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