U.S. Death Toll at 11 as Coronavirus Spreads

March 9, 2020

By Pat Maurer

Although cases of the influenza are being reported all over the U.S. The Covid-19 Coronavirus has not been discovered in Michigan yet.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says, “Currently the risk to the general public is low. At this time, there are a small number of individual cases in the United States. To minimize the risk of spread, health officials are working with healthcare providers to promptly identify and evaluate any suspected cases.

A suspected case in Oakland County tested negative for the virus. The MDHHS was able to test the specimen, the first for the organization, which only began testing for the virus February 27th.

Still, MidMichigan Health and McLaren-Central Michigan are taking precautions. Both have issued visitor restrictions to reduce the spread of influenza.

Still fear of the Coronavirus is spreading with reports of Lysol spray, hand sanitizer and antiseptic wipes being sold out of local stores.

The other strains of influenza are more of a threat to the general public. The CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 32 million flu illnesses, 310,000 hospitalizations and 18,000 deaths from influenza.

The weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report said, “Overall, hospitalization rates remain similar to this time during recent seasons, but rates among school aged children and young adults are higher at this time than in recent seasons and rates among children 0-4 years-old are now the highest the CDC has on record at this point in the season, surpassing rates reported during the second wave of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.

Meanwhile, world-wide, 94,250 Cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in 18 locations including the U.S. and Canada and there have been 3,214 deaths, while 51,026 have recovered from COVID-19.

The worst hit nations are South Korea, Iran and Italy with a total of 10,996 cases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday that COVID-19 has killed about 3.4 percent of those diagnosed.

Wednesday afternoon the Washington Post reported 128 confirmed cases in the U.S.; with 31 in Washington State. The post said the death toll had risen to 11 with six cases and the first reported death in California confirmed – an elderly adult with health complications.

According to a release, “MDHHS is working closely with healthcare providers, local public health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to actively monitor any potential cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (20190nCoV) in Michigan. Information will be updated as it becomes available at: michigan.gov/coronavirus.

Symptoms for COVID-19 and the seasonal flu are similar. Both are respiratory infections that cause a fever, shortness of breath and a cough, runny nose and/or a sore throat.

Both have the potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia, especially in the very young, older adults and those with respiratory problems.

2019 Novel Coronavirus is a virus strain that has only spread in people since December. Little is known about the new virus. It is spread through the air by coughing and sneezing; by close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands; by touching and object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth nose or eyes; and in rare cases, by contact with feces.

Symptoms of the virus may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

There are steps residents can take to prevent spread of the flu and the common cold that will also help prevent coronavirus disease, including:

Washing your hands with soap and water if available. If not use hand sanitizer.

Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

Avoiding contact with people who are sick.

Staying at home if you are sick and contact your healthcare provider.

There are no medications specifically approved for coronavirus. People infected with 2019 Novel Coronavirus should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.

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