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Your coronavirus questions answered

coronavirus
Al Jazeera English / YouTube

(KION) We asked for your questions about coronavirus, and we here at KION did some research and have answers for you.


What is the difference between coronavirus and the flu? Haven't more people died from the flu? Is coronavirus and flu treatment the same?

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, they are both infectious respiratory diseases, but they are caused by different viruses. The new coronavirus may also be spread through an airborne route-- meaning that droplets in the air could cause the disease even if the infected person is no longer in the area, unlike the flu. Doctors are still working to find out what works for treating the coronavirus.

Who is most at risk for serious symptoms/death?

Health officials answered that during a press conference in Santa Clara County Friday. Those most at risk of getting the virus include anyone who has prolonged contact with someone who is infected with coronavirus. Those most likely to have severe symptoms are older people and those with other medical conditions, especially ones that affect the immune system.

What is the state of the first individuals that contracted the virus, such as the couple from San Benito County or the individuals that were aboard the Diamond Princess?

The first U.S. case was in Washington, and that person has recovered. It's difficult to track down the first people who contracted it in China. We reached out to San Benito County health officials about the couple there. They said:

"We're collaborating with the CDC on a paper to describe our cases that we will be publishing soon. wish could provide details on publication but cannot. Both [patients] were admitted to a hospital outside of San Benito County. We continue to follow all CDC and state guidance and are not at liberty to discuss any patient information."

As for the Diamond Princess passengers, CNN reported Thursday morning that at least 705 people contracted the virus and four died.

What's the best strategy? Should I hunker down and try to avoid it? Or do my normal things and wash hands a lot?

Right now, the risk of getting coronavirus is low, but to prevent it, the CDC recommends:

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Staying home when you're sick
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throwing it away
  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and touched objects with a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

The CDC doesn't recommend using a face mask to protect yourself, but people who show symptoms should use one to avoid spreading disease.

Should I switch to Dos Equis until further notice?

That's not necessary.

Why is there still no cure?

More than 20 potential vaccines are in the works around the world, according to WHO, but it'll take at least a year before they can be proven effective and get approval for distribution. Treatment takes time, but there is one undergoing human testing in the U.S.

Why do I read on my old Lysol disinfecting wipes say "disinfect human coronavirus?" So is this an old virus already known or a different type of coronavirus?

This coronavirus, COVID-19, is part of a family of viruses. There are several types, but this one is new, so Lysol may work, but it hasn't been proven effective for this specific one.

Can I get it by drinking Coronas?

Nope. The virus is not related to the beer, but Corona sales are taking a hit because of the name's similarity.

Can Modelos stop the coronavirus?

So far there's no evidence showing that it can.

Has anyone been diagnosed in Santa Cruz or Monterey counties?

Health officials in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties tell us that nobody has been diagnosed in either county.

If most of the cases in the U.S. come from the Carnival Princess cruise line, why is Monterey hosting a 5,000 person Princess cruise ship March 31?

The City of Monterey issued a statement ahead of a cruise ship visit scheduled for March 3. It said there are currently no transportation restrictions in place within the U.S., and that includes cruise ships. The city said it is assessing cruise ship visits and taking steps with guidance from the CDC and Coast Guard. Currently, passengers and crew are meeting the CDC criteria for travel.

Are products made and being shipped from China safe? Are people who work at our U.S. docks unloading cargo containers and receiving from businesses safe from contracting the virus from these containers?

The World Health Organization says letters and packages from China are safe. From what researchers there have found, coronaviruses to not survive long on objects.


Some of the questions asked require more in-depth research, so we are still working to find answers. Thank you everyone for your questions!

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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