Medical Professionals Should Refrain From Making Comparisons Between Coronavirus And Influenza Or Saying That Coronavirus Is Milder With A Lower Mortality Rate
It is extremely irresponsible for any educated medical or healthcare professional or so called expert to publicly make comparisons between the 2019-nCoV coronavirus
and the human influenza
virus. Its one thing for politicians and government officials along with ignorant journalist to do so but not from those trained in science.
Of late many “experts’ are saying that the coronavirus
is milder and less dangerous than the current human influenza
virus that is affecting millions and killing many and using the current mortality figures as a point (important to note that the coronavirus mortality rate only arose in the last 4 weeks since the breakout and based on figures from the Chinese health authorities which are totally untrustworthy considering their reporting protocols)
For one thing, the human influenza
viruses, which often when we are talking about, are basically two of the four genera belonging to the family of viruses called Orthomyxoviridae. These Influenza
B and C viruses along with their various subtypes or strains are the main culprits of the common flu epidemics.
viruses have been known to affect humans for the last few hundred years and to a certain extent, through decades of studies, we are aware of its detailed mode of attack on the cellular levels in human, about other medical conditions that can arise from it such as pneumonia, or its attack on the heart muscles or the gastrointestinal tract or even structures in the ENT groupings. We are aware of how to treat the symptoms , how to test effectively for the viruses, and we know about some of its after effects such as causing low but prolonged inflammation that can give rise to other chronic conditions etc.
We already have a variety of vaccines for the influenza
virus and are still refining the process to make even better vaccines to cover a broader spectrum of the various evolved strains.
However in the case of the new coronavirus
2019-nCoV that just emerged in December 2019, we have very little data about it and its only recently that the whole genome has been mapped out but that still means very little.
We have groups that are working on a vaccine which in reality can only materialize not even in 6 months times. 10 to 14 months considering clinical trials etc even with CDC or US FDA fast tracking the process and even with all the international concerted efforts, seems like a more realistic approach.
But the key thing is that we know very little about this coronavirus
to be able to even start making premature comparisons.
It very premature for medical professionals to say that it is milder than influenza when we do not even have an accurate diagnostic test to date. The current PCR diagnostic tests are not reliable.
What is even interesting is that for those that are termed cured, what are the standards or benchmarks set to say that they are cured when the diagn
ostic tests are not even reliable in the first place. It is merely based that the fact they seem healthy and no longer exhibiting any symptoms and their vital signs are ok or are there any other benchmarks?
Are there latent reservoirs of the coronavirus
in the bodies of those cured that cannot be picked up by the diagnostic tests? Can these latent reservoirs wake up to infect others?
Can long term exposure to these latent coronaviruses
in the body affect cellular pathways or affect genes? Can they affect other cells or tissues in the body? Can they give rise to other medical conditions or chronic diseases? What is the time frame when such chronic conditions appear due to these latent viruses? Months? Years?
We do not have scientific answers to these questions yet.
What is even worrying is that to date, we do not even have confirmed data to back up its mode of transmission, is it through the cough droplets or in the case of those not experiencing symptoms through their exhaled air? If so, this virus is an extremely virulent air-borne virus.
There are facts emerging from Chinese researchers that the coronavirus
has been found in the gastrointestinal tract of infected patients and that it can even be spread by the stools of those infected. As they also exhibit diarrhea as one of the symptoms.
The coronavirus i
ncubation period has not even been ascertained at the moment, with some saying it five days while others saying it is up to 16 days now, based on certain patient’s encounters.
We do not even have clinical or scientific data as to how this coronavirus
can survive outside the human body and for how long.
All experts have done so far is to merely dig up some past studies on the SARS virus which has a genomic match of between 82 to 87 percent (even that match percentage figure has yet to be scientifically confirmed as different recent studies are showing different results.)
Initially many so called “experts” were quick to say that only the elderly and those with chronic diseases or those with compromised immunity conditions were at risk. However recent deaths have shown that many adults between the ages of 36 to 44 without any underlying disease were also dying. Can these experts explain why?
This article is not meant to create panic or paranoia but at the same time medical experts should not go out and make claims quickly till we have all the facts. There is no harm being afraid of the new coronavirus
and to take precautions till more data is available. Spreading scientifically unproven statements tantamounts to rumor-mongering or spreading fake news and is very unbecoming of so called medical professionals or experts.
The public needs to be aware of the real situation and also to take precautions.
For more updates on the coronavirus
or about the Thailand Coronavirus
situation, please check regularly at :https://www.thailandmedical.news/articles/coronavirus