Most at Risk/Coronavirus vs. Flu

Last Monday I was blogging about the coronavirus crisis in Seattle.  One week later, the news along with the actions taken to reduce the serious health impacts of this virus, have changed our world.  Each day brings dramatic changes to our daily lives that will affect all of us and our families, friends and co-workers in the months ahead.  Learn as much as you can about this virus from reputable sites.  Accurate information, knowledge, gives you the power to respond proactively!

Getting outside in the mountains for a hike supports my wellness and health.

Data coming from China indicates those most at risk include:

!!! those over 60-52.4 million are American’s over 65-older Americans make up 16% of the population

!!! those with highblood pressure-46% of American adults

!!! those with diabetes-10.5% of the U.S. population

!!! those with asthma

!!! those with other chronic conditions

Those with aging or taxed immune systems have far more difficulty fighting off Covid-19-the repiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus

As people age their immune system undergoes “immunosenescense” gradually losing its ability to mount a response to an infection as robustly as it once did-T cells that mature in the immune system organ called the thymus lose some of their function.  Older people often do not develop high fever and a temperature not regularly recognized as a serious fever may be missed-100.5 may be a true fever.  Lung function also declines with age and respiratory diseases are particular threat for older people.

Your risk of getting seriously ill or dying is very low-unless you are older or have underlying conditions.  Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and lung diseases all tax the body making it harder to fight off infections

Older, vulnerable people should:

=avoid large crowds

=if you are older with an underlying condition you need to think twice about getting on a plane and do not get on a cruise ship

Precautions for everyone:

=wash hands regularly

=stay away from sick people and keep up to date on vaccinations for flu  and pneumonia

=avoid large gatherings

=limit close contact with others when out in public

=stay home as much as possible to to reduce your risk of exposure

 

Coronavirus vs. Flu

Similarities:

=they are respiratory diseases that spread through droplets of fluid from the mouth and nose of someone infected

=they are contagious, produce some similar symptoms and can be deadly

Major Differences:

= they come from two different families of viruses

=since there is a flu vaccine and we have been exposed to flu viruses every year, people have more protection

Both of these two diseases produce fever, cough and muscle aches and are particularly hard on the elderly.  There is no vaccine yet for Covid-19 and what we are seeing is what influenza would look like without a vaccine. So far, the coronavirus appears to be deadlier than the seasonal flu. The death rate from Covid-19 ranges from 2-3.4%, by contrast the seasonal flu death rate is approximately 0.1%.  However, scientists say that the real death rate of Covid-19 is probably lower than the current estimate and only time will tell. There are contradictory reports of how transmissible the disease is. The most severe flu pandemic in recent history killed tens of millions of people in 1918 and 1919-2.5% of those infected.

It is also important to stay connected by phone or video with older relatives who are alone since social isolation has been linked to adverse health outcomes.

(WSJ 3/12/20)

During the coming weeks focus on taking care of your mind, body and spirit.  Getting outside everyday is healthy for adults and for children.

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