“Coronavirus” is the word of the new year causing concern around the world. This illness that has already taken the lives of thousands is actually just one strand of a virus that’s pretty common.
So, how do you explain the difference between the deadly form of the virus and the common form to cut down on confusion?
Here at NewsChannel 6 you use food. NewsChannel six’s Jenna Kelley spoke with AU’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Phillip Coule, to break it all down…with seven hamburgers.
Jenna Kelley: “So, Dr. Coule, can you tell us why we have this display right here?”
Dr. Coule: “So, coronavirus is a group of viruses, it refers to a group of seven viruses much like the term hamburger would refer to seven different hamburgers, but there’s a big difference between the two.”
Four of the hamburgers on display are plain and simple cheeseburgers much like four of the viruses of the Coronavirus.
Dr. Coule: “They don’t cause the severe disease say for example, the current outbreak that’s ongoing with the Coronaviruses.”
The simple burgers resemble cases like the common cold, the flu, the sniffles, etc.
The three larger burgers on the end are more severe cases. The SARS CoV-2 is the current outbreak in china.
Jenna Kelley: “If I were to take a bite out of a plain burger, does this mean it could progress to the SARS 2?”
Dr. Coule: “No, not at all. These are separate and distinct viruses, and getting infected with one does not lead to the other.”
Jenna Kelley: “How are we aware that this is what this is and it doesn’t become what we’re seeing today?”
Dr. Coule: “These are always circulating and people are getting exposed to and developing symptoms from these. You really aren’t at risk for any of these on the other end for any of these on the current outbreak unless you’re in an area where that is occurring.”
Symptoms to look for in the SARS CoV-2 is coughing, shortness of breath, and if you have traveled to china or had close contact with someone who has in the last 14 days.
Dr. Coule: “I think you’ll see the development of a vaccine, if you were to look at the timeline around that we are probably talking about earliest spring of next year.”
Jenna Kelley: “So, in summary we have the seven burgers here. The four plain burgers are like the common cold, and the three larger ones are where it gets more serious, but again, if you eat a plain burger burger you can’t be exposed to one of the larger ones. So, they’re isolated situations and we don’t have any cases in Georgia?”
Dr. Coule: “Correct, no cases in Georgia, and again if you’re not mainly in China, you’re really not at risk right now.”