Friday, March 13, 2020

Disease Control Expert Debunks Coronavirus Myths | WIRED UK

Disease Control Expert Debunks Coronavirus Myths | WIRED UK

45,867 views - March 10, 2020

Wired UK

Is Covid-19 any worse than seasonal flu? Does hand sanitizer, or alcohol, kill coronavirus? Should you be wearing a face mask and should you be worried about your dog getting coronavirus? The global outbreak has spawned numerous questions, myths and outright misinformation about what to do and how to avoid spreading the virus.

We asked Dr Bharat Pankhania, Senior Clinical Lecturer at Exeter Medical School and an expert in communicable disease control, to debunk some of the most common myths surrounding the virus outbreak, also known as Covid-19.


One item he missed is the specific method of transmission. It seems clear that it's mainly spread in an airborne manner. Also, apparently the virus can survive on a surface for up to three days. I suspect that this form of transmission is comparatively much less likely. We could say that this virus is nothing compared to the plague of HIV/AIDS was back in the 80s, but it just feels like it is. Since its origin was probably from weaponized biological testing, it has an eerie aura surrounding it. The real danger is seemingly in the numbers, with the common yearly flu being 0.6% fatal, and the Coronavirus being 1.5% fatal. It's not at all likely that a strong healthy person would die from it.

I would be wary of the mail. The postal carrier handles thousands of letters a day, including those he places in your mail, and that stacks up the odds of a surface-transmittion danger. Items in the grocery store are much less likely since those items have only been handled by a person or two in the last 72 hours, and maybe a few more with customer in-store handling. Basically crowds and and touching heavily trafficked public surfaces (door handles, countertops, railings, grocery cart handles) form the greatest odds of contracting this. halo oral antiseptic spray (citrus & berry) is a good precaution. I think they sell it at Target; sometimes it's available at Walgreens.


3-24-20 ADDITION: Beyond the errors and agendas of nations and agencies, beyond the reactions and emotions of people, we will eventually find out what happened here. So far, about 500 Americans have died from this most recent Coronavirus, while within the same time frame about 16,000 Americans have died from the common yearly flu. Other Coronavirus' such as SARS and H1N1, where apparently much worse. The one particularly strange aspect of this latest Coronavirus is the incubation period: 4-14 days, with most occurring at 5-6 days.

The U.S. Postal Service mail is actually irradiated, which would apparently kill any micro-organisms. I'm not sure about other mail services. UPS it is said does irradiate mail, while FedEx it is said does not. Therefore any part of the outside of inside of a package, if not irradiated, could have been handled by someone. All you can do is open it, discard the package itself, wash your hands, and not worry about it too much. Outside of flu or cold viruses, there are 10,000 germs on an average human hand anyway; so... warm water and soap are never an empty gesture.