The Novel Coronavirus

Since a strain of Coronavirus, (COVID-19) caused a breakout of infections in Wuhan, China the world has taken notice. The virus now has a foothold in many nations across the globe. Clearly, people are in great fear of this disease as demonstrated by the recent behavior of our stock market.

Therefore, it is time to separate fact from fiction so as to better understand what we face. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common to humans and many different species of animals. They usually cause infections that are very mild. Also, rarely does a particular strain travel from humans to animals or from animals to humans. However, the strain of Coronavirus that we are dealing with today did exactly that. While most strains of this virus are thought to originate with bats, this particular virus has evolved differently. The virus traveled from a bass native to lakes in China to the human population.

About the Coronavirus Disease

Early on, most victims had some connection to a seafood market in Wuhan. As the disease spread, victims with no connection to the market began to test positive. Therefore, humans became carriers and transmitters of the infection. Today we are facing the next stage in this pandemic. Community spread is generating concern as cases not connected to a particular cause have begun to appear.

Facts suggest that this disease has a far higher mortality rate than common strains of the flu. However, its effects are much more selective as well. So far, children under the age of sixteen have not tested positive. Further, mortality is relatively lower in young adults and older ones without any preexisting conditions that weaken their immune systems. It appears that the elderly and those with serious preexisting conditions are most at risk.

What next? The CDC is actively implementing a strategy to minimize the spread of the infection in the United States. It is disseminating information and providing training to prepare healthcare professionals like paramedics. Strategies originally designed to manage an influenza pandemic are being modified and implemented to deal with the Coronavirus.

So what can you do to protect yourself and your family and help break the cycle of this dangerous infectious disease? Use common sense. Stay away from people showing signs of an upper respiratory infection. Wash your hands frequently. Avoid personal contact like shaking hands. Avoid contacting your face with your hands. Stay away from crowds. Particularly avoid long stays in confined crowded areas such as airplanes, cruise ships and event halls. Also, should you show symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, call your doctor immediately. Seek his or her advice as to whether you should be tested for the COVID-19 infection.

To your health. – Andy K., Broker


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