Edition iteleport.net closely monitoring the situation with the spread of CoVID-19. At the time of this writing, the number of infected worldwide exceeded 180 000. However, even despite the unprecedented quarantine measures taken by governments of different countries, many believe that the new coronavirus is not worse than seasonal flu. As arguments often cited statistics for other infectious diseases – including HIV and measles. And if you think that is compared to the new coronavirus, which emerged from power four months ago, and the usual flu – it’s a bad idea, you’re right. In this article we explain why the new coronavirus is not comparable to influenza and why the pandemic should start taking seriously.
How to determine the ability of viruses to spread?
To understand why influenza and the new coronavirus are different things, to start with, that is a virus. In simple words, a virus is an information system that are encrypted in DNA or RNA surrounded by a protective shell. Protective shell made of protein and helps the virus to survive and reproduce, allowing you to “travel” from one cell to another. You could even say that in a sense, viruses are parasites because in order to survive they need a living organism – be it an amoeba or a man.
However, viruses are very different from each other, and their most important characteristic is the ability to reproduce or be smote. To determine how contagious a particular pathogen, researchers used the basic reproductive number R0, where R0 means the number of people that can infect one infected. So, in 2003 at the beginning of the epidemic SARS – severe acute respiratory syndrome – the value of R0 was more than three, but a year later dropped to 0.3 and the epidemic disappeared. As for other viruses, the hepatitis C R0 is equal to 2, in HIV infection R0 = 4, measles R0 = 18, and pigs R0 = 10. In other words, the higher the number of R0, the more infectious the virus. At coronavirus R0 = 3,5, which means that one case on average infects more than three people.
How contagious seasonal influenza?
In 1918, the H1N1 influenza was the cause of the worst pandemic in history. Better known as “Spanish flu”, it claimed the lives of 50 million people. The high pathogenic Spanish flu and the exceptional circumstances of its dissemination, as we are told in detail in our special article – changing the world. Today, new strains of flu appear every year, and given the propensity of this virus to mutate, the best we can do is to undergo regular vaccination. And Yes – vaccination is good, and the arguments for and against can be found here.
However, despite the availability of vaccines, influenza continues to claim many lives. According to data of the world health organization (who), autumn and winter in the Northern hemisphere the flu annually affects 5 to 15% of the population. Influenza – contagious infectious disease that is transmitted by airborne droplets or by contact through hands or objects. Experts characterize the ability of influenza to spread as high, and the basic reproductive number for seasonal flu is equal to R0 = 1,3.
Why CoVID-19 – it’s not the flu and how do they differ?
So, given the fact that seasonal flu is quite contagious, you might think that it can compare with CoVID-19. Here are all of the fact that data on the new coronavirus, scientists today are much smaller than for influenza. CoVID-19 appeared at the end of 2019 and extremely quickly overcome two major barriers – transmission from animal to human (as did the swine and avian flu) and subsequent transmission from person to person. And influenza mankind has a thing for a long time – one only the who website information on it so much that you can read. Besides, this is the first ever pandemic coronavirus.
Recall that the coronavirus is a family of viruses, divided into two subfamilies. January 2020 identified 40 species of coronaviruses, including CoVID-19.
Another important difference between flu coronavirus is the fact that most people over time develop immunity to the flu virus. In addition, after the flu, we have produced lifelong immunity, and as to the transferred strain, and to all his friends, “relatives”. But in the case of the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 in 2003 it was different. Since this is a new disease, we simply do not develop immune to it. As CoVID-19.
How contagious CoVID-19?
According to some experts, the new coronavirus can infect up to 70% of the population. However, it is important to understand that CoVID-19 is not seasonal in nature – at least not yet – and thus infected can be 70% of the planet’s inhabitants as a whole. Again, it is impossible to predict the one or other variant of development of events, as the pandemic is gaining momentum. Another disturbing factor is the lack of a strong immune system have recovered from coronavirus after infection the risk of Contracting the same strain a few months is maintained. Now let’s look at the numbers – according to current who estimates, the basic reproductive number of the novel coronavirus is equal to R0 = 2.4 to 4.5, which means that one infected can infect on average another 4 people. Given the mortality rate of about 3% (while the flu is 30 times lower, approximately 0.1%) — seems scary, right? Because there is a difference one death per 1 000 people or 3 per 100?
Even more alarming is the data on the incubation period of the novel coronavirus – according to available information, the symptoms CoVID-19 can occur after 5 to 24 days. In China, there were identified caseswhen the incubation period was 27 days. Compare this to seasonal influenza and its incubation period from 1 to 4 days. In this case infected with the novel coronavirus the person is a danger to others during the incubation period. Agree, the H1N1 virus and CoVID-19 are very different from each other.