Feb 14, 2020

Coronavirus vs. Other Outbreaks

Although there seems to be world panic according to the media, the virus appears not be as deadly as reports would have us believe. The number of confirmed cases of the virus worldwide numbered 14,637 and the total confirmed deaths stood at 305 as of midday Feb. 2, according to data collected and mapped by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.  As of Feb 5, a Wisconsin coronavirus case brings total infected in US to 12.

To put the risk in more context, the current US flu season has killed 54 infants so far, according to CDC. In the U.S. alone, the flu has already caused an estimated 19 million illnesses, 180,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Common coronavirus symptoms can include:

— Fever
— Dry cough
— Shortness of breath
— Aching muscles
— Fatigue.

Less typical coronavirus symptoms:

— Phlegm buildup
— Headache
— Hemoptysis
— Diarrhea.

Symptoms atypical for coronavirus:

— Runny nose
— Sore throat.

A runny nose and a sore throat are typical signs of upper respiratory infection. Therefore, those who have bouts of sneezing or get the sniffles likely have the flu or a common cold. As the new coronavirus generally affects the lower respiratory tract, most of those infected exhibit a dry cough, shortness of breath or pneumonia, but not a sore throat.

Last week, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations announced a $12.5 million effort to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus, split among three firms. In the best-case scenario, immunologist Barney Graham of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease told Science magazine, a vaccine would be ready for testing in people by next summer.

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