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인훌루엔자를 毒感(독감)으로 안다. COVID-19은 우한페렴이다. 이 두 병원균은 VIRUS로 현재로서는 치료제가 없다. 현재 전세계가 이 새로운 '코로나바이러스'란 疫病(역병)의 만연을 겁내어 국경을 봉쇄하고 세계경제를 위협하는 지경에 이르고 있다.
헌데, 인훌루엔자는 기원 전부터 우리들과 함께 해온 유행병으로 매년 수십만명의 사망자를 초래하고 있음에도 누구 하나 신경쓰지 않아왔다. 지금의 우한폐렴으로 고작 수천명이 사망, 그것도 주로 高齡者(고령자)들이나 면역력이 弱한 젊은이들에 국한되어 나타나는 현상을 놓고 세계인들이 야단법석을 치고 있다. 다행이도 인훌르엔자에는 예방주사(flu vaccine)가 존재한다만, 이 새로운 것에는 아직 백신이 발명되지 않았다는 것이 다르다.
毒感의 경우 미국에서 2019에 사망한 환자는 37,000명에 이르고 있었음에도, 어느 공공장소가 폐쇄된 것이 없었고 아무렇지도 않은듯 세상은 전대로 돌아가고 있었다. 그런데 이번의 우환폐렴의 사태에는 어찌 이런 아우성이냔 말인가? 둘 다 바이러스菌에 의하여 이런 疫病이 돌고 있다는 호들갑의 배경에는 인후루엔자란 병원체에 이번의 신종 바이러스가 추가되었다는 것이 다르다는 사실에 주목할 필요가 있다고 말하고 있다. 면역력을 강화하는 수단으로 이 공포에서 해방되어야 한다.
Influenza kills more people than the coronavirus so everyone is overreacting, here’s why
Published: March 10, 2020 at 10:08 a.m. ET
By Quentin Fottrell
Some cite influenza as a reason not to be worried about COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, but health professionals say that comparison misses some very important points. MarketWatch photo illustration/iStockphoto
Hundreds of thousands of people die of the flu every year, and people need to calm down, some say. Everyone should wash their hands for 20 seconds, elbow bump, stop buying face masks because they don’t protect against the virus, note that airplane air is filtered 20 to 30 times an hour, avoid cruise ships, and just relax ? right?
That appears to be the accumulated advice of exasperated Americans on Twitter and Facebook FB, 1.652% in recent days who despair at the long lines at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods AMZN, 2.315% (where people apparently have been stocking up on oat milk) and the panic buying and empty shelves at Costco COST, -1.220%. “Toilet paper is golden in an apocalypse,” one customer told MYNorthwest.com
‘This is additive, not in place of. Yes, the flu kills thousands of people every year, but we’re going to have more deaths.’? Amesh Adalja, Infectious Diseases Society of America
Studies, however, suggest the differences between the flu and coronavirus are more nuanced than some people suggest. In fact, health professionals point out important distinctions between the COVID-19 illness and other viral sicknesses like the flu. For a start, there is no vaccine for COVID-19 and it could take many months or years to get one to market. What’s worse, doctors fear the virus will mutate.
The first known person was reported to have contracted the virus on Dec. 1 in China. Today, it’s spread to nearly 100 countries. Experts advise changing your behavior to limit its spread. Public officials in New York have said people should avoid taking mass transit, if possible. Italy has effectively quarantined its entire population. Israel has closed its land borders with Egypt and Syria.
But some government representatives have urged people not to overreact, and compared COVID-19 to influenza. Ben Carson, a cabinet secretary and a former neurosurgeon, appearing on an ABC DIS, 1.303% morning new program on Sunday, said, “This virus is like other viruses. It should be treated the same way. ... We have flu seasons that come up frequently.”
President Trump echoed the sentiments of his secretary of housing and urban development on Twitter TWTR, 3.096% on Monday, noting that “last year 37,000 Americans died” from the flu: “Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on.”
“It’s a little simple to think the novel coronavirus is just like flu,” Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the John Hopkins Center for Health Security and a spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, told MarketWatch. “We don’t want another flu. This is additive, not in place of. Yes, the flu kills thousands of people every year, but we’re going to have more deaths.”
There are reported to be some 1 billion influenza infections worldwide each year, with up to 45 million cases in the U.S. per year, tens of thousands of U.S. deaths, and 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide. Seasonal flu has a fatality rate of less than 1%; Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently said the figure is closer to 0.1%.
Influenza and COVID-19 come from different virus families. COVID-19, also called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2, is brand new. Influenza has likely been around for more than 2,000 years. Scientists say the “novel influenza A viruses” in humans lead to a pandemic approximately once every 40 years. But, again, flu vaccines exist.
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