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Panic over coronavirus could be caused by flu numbers

Health officials investigating 2 possible cases of coronavirus in Ohio
Posted at 7:57 AM, Feb 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-07 10:34:58-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — With the hype increasing about the coronavirus, the World Health Organization is saying that people are not only believing misinformation about the coronavirus but they are also spreading it.

WHO has a whole webpage dedicated to busting the myths surrounding the coronavirus, including the myth that drinking bleach can help protect against the coronavirus. Facebook has even had to remove posts in an effort to control the bogus information out there about the virus.

There's also been some concern as to whether or not it's safe to accept packages from China. WHO says they've done the lab work,and the coronavirus does not survive long on objects like letters or packages. Another concern is whether pets can spread the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there's simply no evidence to support that. The coronavirus isn't transmitted like other viruses, and it usually spreads through the respiratory system.

Health experts are also trying to bust the myth that age is a factor when contracting the virus. WHO says people of all ages can get coronavirus. Dr. Michael Distefano, the Chief Medical Officer at Children's Hospital, says part of the reason why there is panic over this illness is because we are right in the middle of flu season.

"Our most concern at this point is the influenza virus. It's been a bad year," Distefano said. "We've had almost a million influenza illnesses this year in the United States and almost 8,000 deaths."

According to the CDC, milder cases of the coronavirus can mimic the same symptoms that are present in the flu.

Distefano also says there's not much known about the coronavirus, making misinformation easy to spread.

"One of the concerns is that this is all new, and it's developing, and a lot of the questions that we have in Healthcare and what families have we don't have total answers for," he said.

One last myth doctors across the state are condemning is that the coronavirus is in the state of Colorado. No cases have been confirmed.

If you're a parent and you still have concerns about your child's symptoms, Children's Hospital has a parents smart health line you can call, at 720-777-0123. You'll be connected with some nurses who can help guide you on what to do.