Coronavirus type COVID ‑ 19 for the first time in history passed to humans at the end of last year and during this time managed to do a lot in the world. However, according to many experts, much more danger than coronavirus is the hype around it.
5 reasons for optimism
1. Coronavirus is far from the most dangerous disease.
Far more terrible epidemics regularly occur on Earth, such as measles, Ebola, cholera, HIV. Even with the flu, the chances of dying are much higher than with the coronavirus, because the prevalence of seasonal flu is many times greater. In 2018, from the flu in the world, according to various estimates, from 500 to 850 thousand people died, HIV and AIDS claim 2.1 million lives a year. And just over 3,000 people died from coronavirus in three months, most of them immunocompromised. That is, it is highly likely that these patients could die from simple pneumonia. As for children, they are much more at risk of dying from measles. For example, in Kazakhstan, 20 children recently died of it, but for some reason no one is panicking.
2. Dynamics is positive. More than half of all cases recovered.
Most people, having received timely therapy (and hospitals in Russia are ready to provide it), recover and again go to work, in society.
3. All epidemics of recent years have been stopped.
Ebola fever, SARS, avian and swine flu. Where are they now? Who is afraid of them? Moreover, even at peak times, they did not develop into pandemics and were reduced to zero. There have been no cases of SARS infection since 2003, and bird flu since 2009.
4. The authorities take all measures for prevention.
For example, in Moscow, a city operational headquarters was established to control and monitor the situation with the coronavirus. All residents of our country with signs of pneumonia, and regardless of whether they flew to “dangerous” countries or not, are examined on COVID ‑ 19.
Scientists expect to create a vaccine soon. By the way, in Russia, in Novosibirsk, the Research Institute “Vector” is located – one of the most respected centers in the world for virology, where they were able to invent a vaccine against the Ebola virus, whose lethality was 25 times higher than coronavirus. Now, scientists of the “Vector” are working on a remedy for coronavirus.
Debunking the main myths
Our expert is Director of the Institute of Medical Parasitology, Tropical and Vector-borne Diseases named after E.I. Martsinovsky of Sechenov University, Virologist Alexander Lukashev.
Myth. The chances of surviving coronavirus patients are extremely small.
In fact. Coronavirus is not fatal enough to panic. Today, according to WHO estimates, mortality from it is slightly less than 1%.
Myth. It’s easier to get coronavirus than any other infection.
In fact. The infectiousness of this virus is indeed quite high, approximately like that of a cold. But still a little less than chickenpox and especially measles. Nevertheless, with close communication, it is easy to become infected with a coronavirus. The main transmission routes are airborne and contact.
Myth. Cats and dogs are carriers of the coronavirus, therefore it is strictly forbidden to attend animal exhibitions.
In fact. This is not true, people only get the virus from each other. Animals have their own coronaviruses, but they are not dangerous to humans. However, it’s really better not to visit animal exhibitions now, as well as any places of mass crowding.
Myth. The most dangerous coronavirus for children.
In fact. For children, the virus is harmless. Those under the age of 15 do not usually get sick; before the age of 30 they almost never die. For middle-aged people who do not have diabetes, chronic diseases of the heart, blood vessels, and lungs, the risk of dying from coronavirus is only 0.1-0.2% (which is comparable to conventional flu).
Myth. The mask does not protect against viruses.
In fact. Masks can reduce the risk of infection in crowded places (metro, shop), but they do not give a full guarantee. Especially if the mask is not worn correctly (you need to securely fix the mask on the bridge of the nose). In addition, masks work only when they are changed every 3 hours (when wet, they stop protecting). Wearing these personal protective equipment makes sense only in confined spaces, and on the street it is pointless. Now there are recommendations to iron the used mask with an iron – no need to do this, since we will only violate its protective properties.
Myth. There is no protection against viruses.
In fact. This is not true. The methods of protection against coronavirus and seasonal flu are the same. The first is to avoid crowded places. Now it’s generally better to minimize the intensity of your social life. If there were plans to preventively lie in a hospital or undergo a planned operation, it is better to transfer it to another, more favorable period.
The second is frequent hand washing. Many people “grab” the virus because of the habit of constantly touching their faces with their hands. No mask or respirator will help if you grab the handrail with your hands and then scratch your nose or eyes. It is very important to try to abandon such a bad habit, although it is difficult.
Myth. To avoid infection, you need to wash your nose every day with sea water, and lay oxolinic ointment inside it and wear glasses to protect the mucous membranes of the eyes.
In fact. The effectiveness of oxolinic, like any other nasal ointment, has not been proven. And nowhere else in the world is this method used. In addition, the area of the nasal mucosa is quite large, and the surface to which the finger can reach is only about 5%. As for the glasses, they should primarily be used by people in contact with patients.