Fact check: what you need to know about coronavirus in order not to panic
Information about the spread of coronavirus across the planet has taken the top lines in the news reports, the authorities of different countries are introducing quarantines, and in some places all this is already forcing people to behave not too rationally - for example, to buy toilet paper. We remind you that you need to know about the coronavirus so as not to start to be afraid of it more than you should, writes Air force.
Of course, it is impossible to dismiss a new dangerous infection - and the authorities of different countries are obviously absolutely right when they introduce preventive and often harsh measures.
But there is no need to panic. It is better to take an occasion and think about personal hygiene.
We all will die? Not
Doctors report that the death rate from Covid-19 is an order of magnitude higher than from ordinary flu. But it's worth paying attention to the absolute numbers and other details.
Johns Hopkins American Research University compiled an interactive and fairly quickly updated map of the distribution of coronavirus.
These data, collected by the Americans, remind, in particular, of what is relatively rarely written in the news: more than half of those infected (more than 63 thousand people) have already recovered.
Approximately 80% of registered patients have a mild illness.
As of the beginning of the day on Tuesday, more than 113 thousand cases were registered in the world (including 81 thousand in China), the deaths - just over 4000 (including more than 3000 in China). The mortality rate is thus about 3,5%.
Quite a lot has already been written about the fact that the overwhelming majority of the deceased are very elderly people with concomitant diseases, and for young people the risk of dying from coronavirus is close to zero.
In addition, when assessing the mortality rate, one more circumstance must be taken into account. Doctors say that in some infected people the disease goes so easily that they themselves may not notice it, taking it for an ordinary mild cold. When and if it is possible to identify and count these patients, then the mortality rate can drop significantly.
The chief sanitary doctor of England, Professor Chris Whitty, for example, suggests that as a result, mortality will be in the region of 1%.
And what do you do?
According to the observations of doctors at the moment, a new virus can be caught by airborne droplets during close communication - if a person stands less than two meters from you and sneezes (or says, slightly splashing saliva) in your direction.
In addition, the coronavirus can be picked up from a hard surface (a door handle or an escalator handrail in the subway) - on such surfaces it survives for two days or even longer.
Therefore, doctors recommend often and thoroughly, at least 20 seconds, to wash their hands, use an antiseptic and not touch their face with their hands. The latter is actually almost impossible: most people touch their faces involuntarily, so it remains to wash their hands more often.
Back in January, the myth that alcohol helps with the new virus has become especially popular in China and Eastern Europe. He was debunked at the same time; The BBC Russian Service wrote about this: alcohol only depresses the immune system and it is better to use it to disinfect hands and surfaces. Only the concentration of alcohol in the solution should be from 60%, and drinks of this strength are quite rare.
How to understand if I got sick?
In short, the only way is a laboratory test.
In most cases, the disease begins with a dry cough and fever, a runny nose appears only in about 5%.
One way or another, for those who suspected Covid-19, doctors and authorities of many countries either recommend or directly prescribe not to go to the doctors (so as not to infect anyone), but to call them.
When will the vaccine be made?
Scientists are doing their best, but the procedure for creating and testing new drugs is such that, at best, the vaccine is expected in a year. By this time, the current outbreak, experts suggest, is likely to pass.
But a vaccine is a means of prevention, and while it is not there, doctors in practice are figuring out how existing antiviral drugs act on patients. In the coming weeks, when a sufficient amount of data has accumulated, doctors hope to understand how best to treat at least those with Covid-19 in the most severe forms.
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