Home / Health / “Never, ever underestimate the potential of the pandemic”: 5 reasons why scientists say you should be afraid of COVID-19

“Never, ever underestimate the potential of the pandemic”: 5 reasons why scientists say you should be afraid of COVID-19

Panicking over COVID-19 won’t help you get through the pandemic, health professionals say. Nor will it be the new coronavirus, a highly unpredictable disease for which there is no 100% effective therapeutic treatment, with anything less than extreme caution.

In short, it affects everyone differently.

President Trump was released Monday from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and, upon his release, told the nation: “Don’t be afraid.” Many “long-range haulers”, meanwhile, pointed out on Twitter that they suffered from coronavirus-related health problems for months after being diagnosed.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases for the past three decades, told CNN Monday night that Trump “appeared to be in pretty good shape”

; after leaving the hospital, but noted the potential for a “reversal. “. in its condition in the coming days. (Fauci said he was not involved in Trump’s treatment.)

“The problem is that it’s still early enough in the disease that it’s no secret that if you look at people’s clinical course, sometimes when you’re five to eight days old, you might have a reversal,” Fauci said. “This is unlikely to happen, but they need to be warned. He knows it, the doctors know. So they’ll keep an eye on him; they’ll try to do it within the confines of the White House instead of in the hospital.”

“COVID is a complete threat to the American population.”

– Dr. David Nace of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

The world still has a lot to learn about the novel coronavirus, and that alone, experts say, should be enough to motivate communities to work together to slow its progress. Scientists don’t advise mass hysteria, but they don’t believe doing business as usual is a wise move either.

“COVID is a complete threat to the American population,” Dr. David Nace of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center he told the Associated Press. “Most people aren’t as lucky as the president,” he said, citing Trump’s vast medical team and access to trial treatments.

Governments around the world are struggling to stop the spread of the pandemic. (An epidemic is a disease that infects regions or a community.) The “Spanish flu” from 1918 to 1919 and the Black Death from 1347 to 1351 were two of the most extreme pandemics ever recorded.

The coronavirus has killed at least 210,195 people in the United States as of Tuesday, according to aggregate data from Johns Hopkins University, and there have been 7,458,550 confirmed cases. Worldwide, there have been 35,504,196 confirmed cases of the virus and 1,044,311 deaths.

In his address to the nation posted on Twitter

On Monday evening, Trump said, “Maybe I’m immune.” Immunity to a disease typically involves a lack of symptoms to the disease, and in the case of COVID-19, it requires no oxygen and hospitalization.

Here are five reasons why people should remain vigilant, according to doctors and scientists:

President Trump greets Sunday evening from the back of a car in a parade in front of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. He returned to the White House on Monday.

1. There is no vaccine

There is no vaccine for COVID-19. If and / or when there is one available, it is unlikely to be released to the public until early mid-2021, according to multiple estimates. Frontline workers, people with pre-existing conditions and the elderly are likely to be first in line.

Furthermore, humans have not built immunity over multiple generations. The first vaccine could be 40% effective and be distributed as the world awaits a more successful vaccine. The measles vaccine is among the most effective, providing 97% immunity.

However, Fauci said the best-case scenario for a COVID-19 vaccine, based on other vaccines for various diseases, would be 70% to 75% effective.

To put that into perspective: Reviews of previous studies have found that, on average, the flu vaccine is about 50% to 60% effective for healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 64, according to a review of studies from the Mayo Clinic. .


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they’re all working on a vaccine.

The first known person reportedly contracted the virus on December 1 in China, according to an article in The Lancet, and it turned into a pandemic within months. (Photo: Getty Images.)

2. COVID-19 is highly contagious

Community outreach, as the recent event at the White House Rose Garden suggests, can also take place outdoors. COVID-19 is highly contagious through invisible droplets in the air, spread through speaking, breathing and coughing. Public health experts advise people to be aware and alert.

This is all the more necessary when the children return to school. A recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics suggests that children can shed SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, even if they never develop symptoms or long after the symptoms have disappeared.

A separate systematic review estimated that 16 percent of children with a SARS-CoV-2 infection are asymptomatic, but evidence suggests that up to 45 percent of pediatric infections are asymptomatic, according to the U.S. Centers for Control and Prevention. of diseases.

According to Gregory Poland, who studies vaccine response immunogenetics in adults and children at the Mayo Clinic, even masked joggers can leave a 30-foot “droplet trail” in the open behind them. “The virus cannot measure,” he said.

Children appear to respond to the virus differently than adults, and people’s risk of serious illness or death worsens as they age. (Photo: Damien Meyer / AFP via Getty Images)

3. The virus acts in peculiar ways

According to research published in August in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, genes in the body that appear to be an important factor that gives SARS-CoV-2 access to heart cells become more active with age, according to published research. in August in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology.

Additionally, “inflammation in older people can be more intense, causing organ damage,” Johns Hopkins University reported. “Lung tissue becomes less elastic over time, making respiratory diseases such as COVID-19 a particular concern for older people,” the university said.

Adult patients may respond to COVID-19 with an overly vigorous adaptive immune response that can promote inflammation associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome, a type of severe lung injury now associated with severe cases of COVID-19, health professionals say .

Doctors today attribute this phenomenon to the “cytokine storm” or hypercytokine, a process in which the immune system in healthy people reacts so strongly that a wave of immune cells and their activating compounds (cytokines) effectively turns the body against itself. .

Some figures show that 40% of coronavirus transmission is due to carriers who do not show symptoms of the disease. (Photo: MarketWatch Photo Illustration / Getty Images, iStockphoto.)

4. An untold number of people are asymptomatic

Fauci said in July that in his 40 years of dealing with viral outbreaks, he had never seen anything like COVID-19, particularly in a singular way that helped lead to one of the biggest public health crises in a generation. .

“I’ve never seen a single virus – that is, a pathogen – have a range where 20% to 40% of people have no symptoms,” Fauci said during an Energy and Trade Committee hearing on the response. of the Trump administration in the pandemic.

The World Health Organization currently estimates that 16% of people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and can transmit the coronavirus, while other data shows that 40% of coronavirus transmission is due to carriers who do not show symptoms of the disease.

A recent study from the University of California, San Francisco found that there is a high spreading burden of SARS-CoV-2 in the upper respiratory tract, even among pre-symptomatic patients “, which distinguishes it from SARS-CoV -1, where replication occurs mainly in the lower respiratory tract. “

A recent study from the European Respiratory Journal claimed that the virus can attack an enzyme in the nose as a gateway to enter the body, which is why some people with COVID-19 lose their sense of smell. It is also one way the coronavirus differs from the flu. (Photo: Getty Images / MarketWatch Photomontage.)

5. The flu season is approaching

As people move indoors in the winter, flu season approaches and doctors are understandably concerned about a “twindemic”. Both influenza and COVID-19 are not treatable with antibiotics and have nearly identical symptoms: fever, cough, night sweats, and fatigue.

Luis Ostrosky, a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, said humans have “herd immunity” to the flu. “When there are enough people in the community who are immune, it protects people who are not immune,” he said. This is the case with the flu, but not with COVID-19.

COVID-19 and the flu can cause fever, but the former has a dry cough and can also result in loss of smell and taste and chronic fatigue. Flu symptoms are typically characterized by the onset of a runny nose, sore throat, cough, aches and pains and chills.

In July, Fauci told MarketWatch that people should think twice before eating at a restaurant. “It’s much worse indoors than outdoors,” he said. And Ryan Malosh, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, said, “There’s nothing magical about five foot eight.”

“We have to squat and get through this fall and winter, because it won’t be easy,” said Fauci, the nation’s foremost infectious disease expert who also worked at the forefront of the AIDS pandemic, during a panel discussion with Harvard Medical School the month. last.

AIDS, he reminded people, has infected up to 76 million people around the world, and 33 million people have died from that virus.

“We have already talked about it,” added Fauci. “Never, ever underestimate the potential of the pandemic. And don’t try to look at the rosy side of things.”

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