Everything You Need to Know About Coronavirus But Are Afraid to Ask

Rebekah Sager
February 14, 2020 - 10:33 am
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Although there's only been one confirmed case of coronavirus in Los Angeles County, one in Orange County and one in San Diego to date, residents remain terrified of becoming infected. 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness. Common symptoms in an infected person include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

Since first learning about the virus in December 2019, so far, mainland Chinese authorities have identified over 60,000 infections (15 in the U.S.), resulting in nearly 1,400 deaths. 

Far from being an outbreak in remission, the coronavirus continues its global march. 

Hosts Mike Simpson and Charles Feldman sat down with Dr. Peter Katona, a clinical professor of medicine in infectious diseases at UCLA's Geffen School of Medicine and  Dr. Anita Gorwara, a family medicine physician at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, to discuss the coronavirus outbreak in the hopes of curbing irrational fears and informing the public. 

The experts will attempt to answer some practical questions such as:

1. Do face masks protect you?

2. Is coronavirus worse than the flu?

3. If you develop a bad cough, how concerned should you be?

4. How do you prevent getting the flu or other common viruses? 

5. Does using hand sanitizer gels or Lysol keep you from picking up viruses? 

Community leaders have emphasized that the risk to most people outside China remains very low, and winter flu remains a more immediate threat, but it hasn't stopped many from unnecessarily worrying about getting the virus. 

According to the L.A. County Department of Public health, despite the case in L.A. County, there is no immediate threat to the general public, no special precautions are required, and people should not be excluded from activities based on their race, country of origin, or recent travel if they do not have symptoms of respiratory illness. Los Angeles County residents, students, workers, and visitors should continue to engage in their regular activities and practice good public health hygiene as this is the height of flu season across the County. The risk from the novel coronavirus 2019 to spread in Los Angeles County residents is deemed to be low at this time.

Click here to listen to the entire In-Depth segment.