Not all pandemics are created equal, and contracting COVID-19 isn’t a death sentence. Here’s what you know about the global outbreak.
The fact that the first death from COVID-19 of a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil has just been reported is highly significant, signaling an ominous new stage of this growing threat to the nation’s public health.
Although few details are known about the Coronavirus victim, we do know that he was a middle-aged gentleman in his early 50s with serious pre-existing medical conditions who was living in an advanced nursing facility in Washington state. While he had the symptoms of COVID-19 for some unknown amount of time, he only recently “qualified” to receive a specific test to confirm the diagnosis.
But in the meantime, he had extensive contacts with and exposure risk for potentially hundreds of staff, visitors and all of their contacts. They will all need to be identified, interviewed, potentially tested and perhaps quarantined, if not hospitalized. Is it possible that none of these people contracted the infection? Maybe. But that is statistically highly unlikely. What makes matters even more unsettling is that some experts believe that the incubation period may be significantly longer than the 14 days that is currently believed to be the outer limit.
PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
BY: Irwin Redlener
From Popayán Colombia South America
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