As the media continues to spread panic about the coronavirus, one emergency room doctor is warning people not to get too carried away.
Speaking on “America’s Newsroom” this week, Dr. James Phillips, operational medicine fellowship director at George Washington University, said that most people who contract the coronavirus will “do just fine.”
“Most of us are going to get this virus. It’s undeniable,” said Phillips. “You won’t find a single expert out there who is saying that this is going to be contained. “And, the more we learn about it, the more we see that the spread is going to be global and, for the most part, that’s OK because the data we know from China shows that roughly 98 to 99 percent of us are going to do very, very well.”
Phillips said that the main danger with coronavirus is how it affects the lower respiratory system, which presents itself as pneumonia. He called on everyone to just take a deep breath and calm down.
“The way that this virus tends to make people sick is really by giving people pneumonia. So, a lower respiratory illness as opposed to most colds that cause upper respiratory infections,” said Phillips. “The problem with pneumonia is pneumonia itself can be deadly. Everyone should take a deep breath.”
Here are some global statistics on the coronavirus from Fox News:
Thus far, there are over 95,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and over 3,300 deaths worldwide. Of those cases, there are at least 129 cases and 11 deaths recorded in the United States. Washington state has been hit especially hard by the virus, with nine deaths at a nursing home near Seattle. The death rate is about 3.4 percent.
Most of those taken by the COVID-19 virus are older, infirmed, or those with weak immune systems and Phillips conceded that there is a “certain percentage” of Americans who are “going to get more sick than others.”
Dr. Drew Pinsky has also called on people to calm down amid the coronavirus threat and charged the media with talking too much about it.
“We are not overreacting; the press is overreacting, and it makes me furious. The press should not be reporting medical stories as though they know how to report it,” Dr. Drew said on Daily Beast Live. “If we have a pandemic, I won’t know how to tell that we’re actually having a pandemic because everything is an emergency. People that are infectious disease specialists, the CDC, the epidemiologist[s], need to take this very seriously. The press needs to shut up because you’re more likely to die of influenza right now.”
“Let me frame it this way: we have in the United States 24 million cases of flu-like illness, 180,000 hospitalizations, 16,000 dead from influenza. Why is that not being reported? Why isn’t the message: get your flu shot? We have zero deaths from coronavirus, we have almost no cases,” he continued. “It’s coming here. That community transmitted case you purported on from UC Davis, that means that it’s far milder than we know it is and there are people walking around out there with the virus that don’t even know they have it, it’s so mild. So, it’s going to be much more widespread than we knew, it’s going to be much milder than we knew, the 1.7 % fatality rate is going to fall.”