(UnitedVoice.com) – Over the last week, the federal government, as well as numerous state and local governments, have taken actions to curtail the spread of COVID-19. As the media reports about its infection rate and little is known about the virus, fear and panic are natural emotions that have set in. So far, the widespread panic that has been observed may not be totally justified.
However, that doesn’t mean precautions shouldn’t be taken.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that over the last 100 years there have been four pandemics caused by novel influenza viruses, of which COVID-19 is one. At this point, it’s important to understand what is known to date about the impact of COVID-19. It is a rapidly changing situation and information is always being updated. For the latest, visit the CDC’s Coronavirus website.
What Are the Facts About COVID-19?
According to the CDC, the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, and the Surgeon General, the following are facts about COVID-19 in the United States as of Friday morning, March 13, 2020.
- Total cases in the United States: 1,268
- 40 people have died from January to March 13th among the roughly 330 million people in the United States. In Washington state, 31 died in long-term care facilities for the elderly – 22 were at the same facility. The remainder who died were in California (4), Florida (2), Georgia (1) New Jersey (1), and South Dakota (1).
- The risk of exposure is thought to be low for most Americans.
- The risk of exposure is elevated in areas where community spread of the virus is reported.
- Most people who contract COVID-19 have no symptoms or mild ones.
- No young or middle-aged people in the United States have died of coronavirus.
- Children and young adults are more likely to die from the flu according to the U.S. Surgeon General. However, they are at risk of spreading the virus.
- The US Surgeon General reports the average age of death from COVID-19 is 80 and those over 60 are more likely to develop complications due to underlying issues and need hospitalization. Underlying issues include heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes.
- Recovery rates are significantly higher than death rates. In China, where research has been more extensive, 80,945 have been infected, 3,180 died, and 64,194 made a full recovery. However, in the United States where the virus is relatively new and it’s unknown how many are infected, there have been 12 cases of full recovery.
As with any virus (such as the flu), it’s important to protect yourself and those around you to minimize the spread to others.
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or develop any symptoms, the CDC says you should call your doctor immediately for medical advice. The CDC also has a list to follow if you are sick.
By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor
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