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The coronavirus news is changing by the hour. At 13WMAZ, our obligation as we cover the coronavirus is to provide clear and factual information without instilling unnecessary fear. To put the coronavirus numbers in context, millions of Americans get the flu every single year and there are thousands of flu deaths annually.
Since October 2019, the CDC estimates around 32 million Americans have gotten the flu. That’s one in every 10 Americans. Since the coronavirus outbreak began late last year, there have been around 80,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in China. That means those cases account for just around .0056% of China's population.
According to the CDC, there are actions that Americans can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
There is currently not a vaccine or drug available for COVID-19. The CDC has the following recommendations to reduce the spread of the coronavirus:
'Community-based interventions such as school dismissals, event cancellations, social distancing, and creating employee plans to work remotely can help slow the spread of COVID-19. Individuals can practice everyday prevention measures like frequent hand washing, staying home when sick, and covering coughs and sneezes.'
Local and state officials will work in tandem with federal officials to make pertinent decisions about cancellations/closings based on the scope of the outbreak and the severity of illness. Implementation will require extensive community engagement, with ongoing and transparent public health communications.
The World Health Organization, also a trusted resource, says common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.