Flu Greater Immediate Threat Than Coronavirus

Feb 25, 2020

Coronavirus aka: Covid-19 image from World Health Organization.
Credit Courtesy: World Health Organization

VIRUS PROTECTION- This is the time of year when many virus-related illnesses are spread. And while international concerns about the coronavirus are growing, doctors in the U.S. are stressing that there are more immediate health threats such as influenza  and  the  Norovirus,  both  can be spread in close settings. 

The norovirus gets attention as we often hear news about passengers getting stricken on cruise ships. But recently there was an outbreak, in a Louisiana casino that infected nearly 200 people. The  Norovirus  is  spread  when  people come  in  contact  with  contaminated  food, water, or surfaces, the illness results in nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  But as far as respiratory illnesses like Coronavirus or the flu, doctors say people who are infected  spread the illnesses by coughing or sneezing.  

COUGHING & SNEEZING - Health experts say influenza and coronavirus can be transmitted by coughing or sneezing.
Credit Courtesy: Pixabay Public Domain Images

Dr. Joseph  Bocchinni, is a pediatric infectious disease specialist,  and director  of children's health services for Willis Knighton Health System.  He  says  before you rush out and buy a face mask –much of the spread of  any illness could be prevented if people would do something simple and often—that is wash their hands.

Proper hand-washing involves the use of a disinfectant soap, warm water and alcohol-based sanitizers can be used as a supplement, but they should not be used as the primary method for cleaning hands. The Centers for Disease Control reports that there have been an estimated 19 Million cases of flu in the U.S. so far…with 180,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths.  Some people are more at risk to viruses. The elderly, children younger than 5 years old, women who are pregnant and those with weakened immune systems can have greater complications should they get infected.

SIMPLE PREVENTION - Doctors say washing hands often and avoiding touching face, mouth, and eyes is a good way to prevent getting sick from viruses.
Credit Courtesy: Pixabay Public Domain Images

Doctors say it’s a good idea to avoid large crowds during cold or flu season, and  if someone in your family gets sick—health experts say cleaning surfaces, such as tables, counter-tops, anything the sick person came in contact with -- especially in bathrooms,  will help keep the virus to spreading.

To learn more about viruses and how to prevent illness, click the links:

Centers for Disease Control: About the flu       

Centers for Disease Control: About the Norovirus

How to prevent Norovirus and other illness in your home

What is Coronavirus?