Some facts about Ebola, SARS and Corona Novel 19

 

Many individuals are caught somewhere between this is nothing more than a cold that the government is using to control us, and this is the plague. In this article I will talk a little bit about COVID-19, SARS, Ebola, and the Flu and what we should be paying attention to.

How does 2019-CoV compare to Ebola?

Ebola has posed a global health threat several times, most notably from 2013 to 2016, when it threatened to spread abroad from Africa.

Health officials declared an epidemic in 2014 when nearly 30,000 cases gripped the continent in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The World Health Organization estimated a total of 11,323 people died in the outbreak. Ebola is a highly deadly disease, with a fatality rate of roughly 50 percent. However, it had little means of transmission, as only close contact to bodily fluids such as blood and sweat could spread it on. That is why the risk was so much lower.

How does 2019-CoV compare to SARS?

According to the WHO, 2019-CoV has much more in common with SARs than it does with Ebola, as they come from the same family.

SARs is also a coronavirus that attacks the respiratory system. SARs is an airborne virus, which causes viral pneumonia-like the 2019 infection. The disease forced officials to declare a pandemic, but cases in countries outside of China were limited.

The disease notably broke out in China from 2002 to 2004, infecting more than 8000 people in 26 countries, and killed an estimated 700 people.

How does 2019-CoV compare to Flu?

So far, the new coronavirus has led to more than 100,000 illnesses and more than 3,000 deaths worldwide (LiveScience, 2020). That’s nothing compared with the typical flu (or influenza). In the U.S. alone, the flu has caused an estimated 34 million illnesses, 350,000 hospitalizations and 20,000 deaths this flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Despite the morbidity and mortality with influenza, there’s a certainty … of seasonal flu,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a White House press conference on Jan. 31. “I can tell you all, guaranteed, that as we get into March and April, the flu cases are going to go down. You could predict pretty accurately what the range of the mortality is and the hospitalizations [will be],” Fauci said. “The issue now with [COVID-19] is that there’s a lot of unknowns.” 

Researchers from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Protection analyzed 44,672 confirmed cases in China between Dec. 31, 2019, and Feb. 11, 2020. Of those cases, 80.9% (or 36,160 cases) were considered mild, 13.8% (6,168 cases) severe and 4.7% (2,087) critical. “Critical cases were those that exhibited respiratory failure, septic shock, and/or multiple organ dysfunction/failure,” the researchers wrote in the paper published in China CDC Weekly.

It’s important to note that, because respiratory viruses cause similar symptoms, it can be difficult to distinguish different respiratory viruses based on symptoms alone, according to WHO. The death rate from seasonal flu is typically around 0.1% in the U.S., according to The New York Times. The death rate for COVID-19 appears to be higher than that of the flu. With the lack of available widespread testing, it is also believed the number of cases of COVID-19 could be higher than initially believed in the United States.

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. Another study of about 1,100 hospitalized patients in China, published Feb. 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the overall death rate was slightly lower, around 1.4%. That makes it more deadly than the flu. Something worth noting though is that most individuals with the virus had mild symptoms and most severe cases and deaths were reported in individuals over the age of 80.

When talking about viruses, doctors pay attention to the R0 (R naught) this is the rate in which the virus replicates and how many people each infected person can infect.

The flu has an R0 value of about 1.3, according to The New York Times.

Researchers are still working to determine the R0 for COVID-19.  Preliminary studies have estimated an R0 value for the new coronavirus to be between 2 and 3, according to the JAMA review study published Feb. 28. This means each infected person will spread the virus to an average of 2 to 3 people.

So while we should not panic, we should at the least be mindful and be prepared for changes as they come as we learn more.

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