You’ve seen the panicked headlines about travel restrictions and quarantines… The photos of terrified people wearing surgical masks and even gas masks… And the grim news that the coronavirus has arrived in America.
Photo: Science Focus
“This outbreak is unrolling right in front of our eyes,” said the CDC’s Dr. Nancy Messonnier.
It seems like the whole world is freaking out over this highly contagious and deadly illness.
But there’s something else far worse that you actually should be worried about.
The coronavirus has killed 132 people so far, all of them in China. More than 6,000 total cases have been reported worldwide.
By comparison, this year’s flu season has killed 8,200 people, with at least 15 million cases. And that’s just in the U.S.
Scientists measure the potential infectiousness of a disease with a unit called “R0” or “R naught.” It is an estimate of the average number of people infected by each new case if there are no efforts to stop its spread, such as quarantine or vaccination.
If the R0 for a disease is less than 1, the infection will likely peter out.
The R0 estimates for the coronavirus are now around 2.5, according to the World Health Organization. One Harvard doctor says 3.8 is the threshold that is “thermonuclear pandemic level bad.” So 2.5 sounds pretty grim.
It’s actually not.
Discover the Secret of People Who Never Get the Flu
Prior to the coronavirus, a similar panic accompanied the spread of SARS. It started in China in 2002 and spread worldwide within a few months. It had a peak R0 of 5.
SARS was never much of a problem in the U.S. It infected just 27 within our borders. None died. SARS is genetically similar to the coronavirus.
Based on R0, we should all be far more afraid of measles than the coronavirus. It has an R0 as high as 16.
There are already signs that the coronavirus is running out of steam.
Dr. Zhong Nanshan, a top scientist at China’s National Health Commission, says the spread “will not increase at a large scale.” He predicts the disease will reach its peak next week.
Dr. James Lawler is an infectious disease specialist at the University of Nebraska. He said that illnesses like the coronavirus cause more anxiety because, unlike the flu, there are few countermeasures. There is no vaccine, antiviral drugs, or diagnostic testing for the coronavirus.
And familiarity has made us less afraid of the flu, said Dr. Emily Martin with the University of Michigan. “The flu is just not as new and headline-grabbing because we see it every year,” she said.
Unlike the coronavirus, this flu season looks like it is far from its peak. And it is proving to be particularly deadly, especially for children.
We’ve seen more pediatric deaths this season (32) than in any other season since the CDC started tracking flu numbers 17 years ago. And the flu isn’t expected to peak for another month or so.
Dr. William Schaffner is a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University.
“When we think about the relative danger of this new coronavirus and influenza, coronavirus will be a blip on the horizon in comparison,” he said.
The current flu shot looks like it doesn’t offer much protection. That’s because the predominant strain so far is the B/Victoria. It’s not covered by the vaccine.
To discover the most effective way to protect yourself, get the Infinite Immunity Protocol. You’ll find it in our monthly health journal Independent Healing.
The average person gets more 200 colds and bouts of flu in his or her lifetime. But some people get virtually none. Learn how they do it. For more information, go HERE.