COVID-19 which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a PANDEMIC. It might not be an official declaration by the WHO, but, there is no question, that this is a pandemic.
The WHO already has a credibility problem with a lot of people, and that’s only going to get worse the longer they delay calling COVID-19 a pandemic.
This reason is that the epidemic is now spreading in different continents.
Specifically, there is sustained transmission from person to person in people who have not recently been to China or have not been exposed to someone who was recently in China.
Of course, we know about the 80,000 or so cases in Asia, with China, South Korea, and even Iran still being part of Asia, but the big news is the number of cases in Italy, and in the US as well.
We are past the point of containing the virus. But we can do things to slow it down. And this starts by declaring it a pandemic, with governments taking appropriate action to slow the spread of COVID-19.
As of the recording of this video, Italy has 215 cases with 7 deaths.
Over three days, there was a rapid spike in coronavirus confirmed cases in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto. Authorities have closed down 12 towns as they try to stop the virus from spreading.
And it’s still a mystery as to who patient 0 is, which makes it harder to track and stop the outbreak there.
They have canceled sports games and closed schools, universities, restaurants, and tourist attractions.
Now, in the US, San Antonio has 6 new cases as a result of Americans being repatriated from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship. And there are expected to be more cases as there are more tests still pending.
Part of the reason why you can’t contain this coronavirus is that we know that it spreads in infected people who don’t have symptoms. This has been proven in at least 3 different published studies from reputable journals.
On a large scale, the best way to slow this virus down is by limiting travel and avoiding big crowds.
From an individual standpoint, the best thing to do is going to be the same thing you do prevent the flu, with the exception being there is no vaccine for COVID-19 at the moment. So this entails, frequent hand washing, avoid touching your face without washing your hands, avoiding sick people, and disinfecting commonly used surfaces and objects. Masks, and other PPE such as gloves, may or may not be beneficial, depending on the circumstances. I dive deeper into this subject in my other video (“should you wear a mask?”).
Another thing you want to do is make sure your immune system is running at full capacity to fight with the Coronavirus. This includes things like eating healthy, exercising, getting good sleep, and not smoking.
Dr. Mike Hansen, MD
Internal Medicine | Pulmonary Disease | Critical Care Medicine
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