Coronavirus Not As Dangerous As Flu

Dr. John Addlesperger says in many ways coronavirus isn't as dangerous as the flu. (Photo from Sheridan Media files)

In many ways, Dr. John Addlesperger says, the coronavirus isn't as dangerous as influenza.

Dr. Addlesperger, who's chief medical officer at Sheridan Memorial Hospital, said about 35,000 people in the U.S. died last year from influenza. So far, he said, there have been no coronavirus deaths in the U.S.

That said, Addlesperger and Barb Hespen, who's the hospital's chief nursing officer, in a recent interview with Sheridan Media said if a patient should come to the hospital with symptoms of coronavirus and a history that includes travel to Wuhan, China, or contact with someone who has that travel history, the hospital will immediately treat that person as if they have the virus.

Hespen said coronavirus symptoms are a lot like the symptoms of influenza – fever, cough and shortness of breath – and anyone with those symptoms should stay home.

She said the Number One infection prevention strategy is to wash your hands frequently. Other recommendations, she said, include avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue which should then be thrown into the trash.

She said if the hospital suspects someone of having coronavirus, standard precautions will be applied, including putting a mask on the patient.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for coronavirus, but those infected should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. Treatment for severe cases should include care to support vital organ functions.

People who think they may have been exposed to coronavirus should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Sheridan Memorial Hospital is preparing to treat patients with coronavirus. (Courtesy photo)