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Coronavirus Myth-busting; local expert weighs in on COVID-19

(WCJB)
Published: Mar. 5, 2020 at 7:26 PM EST
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We asked you on Facebook to tell us your burning questions about coronavirus.

To our surprise many of them involved politicians talking about the disease.

Michael D said, "Should we believe the CDC number of 3.4 percent mortality or Donald Trump's 'hunch' that number is incorrect and it's more like 1 percent?"

"This is a very profound question and I will explain why they are both correct the CDC information is based on available information and when they calculate the mortality number what they are looking at is the number of deaths over the number of people who have been laboratory confirmed to have the virus," John Lednicky of the Emerging Pathogens Institute said. "So, that fatality rate is probably way too high."

"Donald trump's rate, 1 percent, is probably still way too high," he said.

He also referenced some best practices, because we've all been hearing "wash your hands" for weeks now.

Lednicky said everyone should remove their rings when washing their hands. He also said a best practice is to wash your hands for 20 seconds, which can easily be remembered by singing Happy Birthday twice.

Janie R asked, "Do you think the media and Democrats are driving the panic pandemonium so that people are running to stores to stock up, hoard water, masks and hand sanitizer?"

"Whenever there is something new and people do not understand it there is always a major panic it happened with the swine flu," Lednicky said. "My opinion is that the Republicans are understating the situation and the Democrats are overstating the situation; my suggestion is a more rational approach."

"Once again we should not panic if we take common-sense measures and really understand what's going on we should be OK."

Ashley S said, "CDC says it's only transmittable by contact with an infected person and/or having recently traveled to any of the current countries that are of high risk."

"Heres an easy and fast way for it to transfer: money handling. No need for you to travel, the $ does that well enough," she said.

“A lot of people have absolutely no idea what contact means," Lednicky answered. "People come up to me and say does that mean if I touch somebody that the virus goes through my fingers into my body."

"This is really incomplete information; the CDC is really telling you when someone else has a respiratory infection and you are close to them the probability of acquiring a virus is much higher.”

Some other things Lednicky touched on were prevention tips. First, he said there is no such thing as a one size fits all face mask. To make sure you are protected, you have to use a mask that fits your face.

He also said facial hair can make face masks not fit properly.

How you take off your mask matters too. Lednicky said you should wash your hands before removing your face mask and be cautious as to where you place it.

Lednicky also wants to remind people that the flu and allergies are also common during this time so, he said there is no reason to panic.

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