COVID-19: Differentiating between Facts and Fears

Posted at 12:40 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 14:40:32-04

There has been an influx of information regarding COVID-19 coming to you whether through social media, friends, or even colleagues at work.

We wanted to step back and sort through this information to recap for you the facts and the data that has been made available to us from the World Health Organization and other international organizations.

According to the World Health Organization, for most people in most locations the risk of contracting COVID-19 is relatively low, however, there are hot spots or cities where the virus is spreading at high rates. But should you be worried about catching it? and how lethal COVID-19 really is?

Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. However, it can cause serious illness, according to the WHO, about 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care. Older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others.

It is a natural feeling to be worried about contracting COVID-19 and it is very important to be aware of how you can protect yourself and your loved ones. Being informed and not alarmed could be the best course of action, the World Health Organization believes that COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks.

According to a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, the virus can survive on surfaces and is viable for up to 72 hours on plastics, 48 hours on stainless steel, 24 hours on cardboard, and 4 hours on copper. Washing your hands, disinfecting surfaces, and maintaining social distancing are the key elements to staying safe.

Even though COVID-19 gained a reputation for being a lethal virus that might potentially kill us all, the fact is, the majority of people with no underlying health conditions who get infected will indeed fully recover.

Looking at data from hard hit countries such as China, we can see that 87% of all cases fully recovered.

The world have seen deadlier viruses in the past, SARS which first appeared in China back in 2002 and ten years later, MERS which was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 have significantly higher fatality rates with MERS at 34% and SARS at 10% compared to 3.4% for COVID-19.

The extreme measures being put in place today by governments around the world are effectively slowing the spread of the virus and buying more time for scientists to test promising vaccines that will put an end to this pandemic.

Staying calm and following the disease prevention instructions will help you and your loved ones get through this uncertain times.