DO WE KNOW WHETHER THE NEW CORONAVIRUS IS “SEASONAL”?
That’s what some infectious disease experts are hoping. But they cannot be sure yet because this virus has not been around long enough for scientists to collect the evidence they need.
“All we have to go on is analogies with other diseases that spread in similar ways,” said Paul Hunter, an infectious disease expert at Britain’s University of East Anglia.
What specialists do know is respiratory infections like flu, coughs and the common cold can have seasonal influences that make outbreaks of them easier to predict and contain. It’s also known that certain environmental conditions can boost transmission of viruses: Cold weather, humidity, and the way people behave during winter can all affect the trajectory of an epidemic.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT WINTER THAT HELPS RESPIRATORY DISEASES SPREAD?
“The reason why cold weather is presumed to cause spreading of coughs, colds and flu is that cold air causes irritation in the nasal passages and airways, which makes us more susceptible to viral infection,” said Simon Clarke, an expert in cellular microbiology at Britain’s University of Reading.
Winter weather also tends to see people spending more time indoors and clustering together. This increases the risk of infection.
Many respiratory infections, including COVID-19, are spread in droplets that are released when an infected person coughs or sneezes. According to disease experts, when the air is cold and dry, those droplets are more likely to float in the air for longer - travelling further and infecting more people.
SO WILL SPRING’S ARRIVAL HELP BRING COVID-19 UNDER CONTROL?
“It’s entirely possible that we might get a spring-time lull,” said Clarke. “It’s unlikely to make things worse, but we don’t know for sure - it’s an educated guess.”
Hunter echoes that, saying he thinks it’s likely “that the disease will decline substantially during the summer months in the northern hemisphere”.
“Whether it comes back again is a moot question,” he added. “It would not surprise me if it largely disappeared in summer only to reappear again in the winter.”
No, I feel sure that Truph will be impeached for "inventing" it by then and Burnie will send it to the magnificent doctors (making $26 a month) in Cuba to cure it for the whole world.
By the way, the news reported a few days back that Corona beer sales were off by about 17% due to the name. Folks, we have some really stupid people running around out there!
You are more likely to die from the FLU ! This is media hype. The news media is trying to build up the Chicken Little "The sky is falling" BS. Yes you COULD catch it ,and you COULD be in a car wreck or ,have tree fall on you ! I spent neatly 25 years in the military and firmly believe when your number is up , it's up but, I won't go around living in a paranoid state worrying about what MIGHT happen . Life is too short for that !
So far this flu season, about 0.05% of people who caught the flu have died from the virus in the U.S., according to CDC data.
The death rate for COVID-19 appears to be higher than that of the flu.
In the study published Feb. 18 in the China CDC Weekly, researchers found a death rate from COVID-19 to be around 2.3% in mainland China. That's much higher than the death rate linked to flu, which is typically around 0.1% in the U.S. we do have better medical care but that is a 20+ increase.
The measure scientists use to determine how easily a virus spreads is known as the "basic reproduction number," or R0. This is an estimate of the average number of people who catch the virus from a single infected. The flu has an R0 value of about 1.3,
Researchers are still working to determine the R0 for COVID-19. A study published Jan. 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated an R0 value for the new coronavirus to be 2.2, meaning each infected person has been spreading the virus to an average of 2.2 people.