As the covid-19 virus spreads around the world and within the United States, we need to be aware there is a lot we just don't know about this new virus.
1. Number of Cases
As of June 16, 2020 there are 2.18 million cases of COVID-19 in the United States and 119,000 deaths. These numbers are staggering and yet they are an undercount. We are not doing enough testing or tracing to know the true number of cases. We also may not be attributing all the deaths from COVID-19 to COVID-19. There are deaths being reported as influenza or pneumonia which may actually be due to COVID-19.
Why is this important?
If more people are actually infected with COVID-19 and there are the same number of deaths then the virus may not be as deadly as thought. On the other hand, if we are reporting the correct amount of COVID-19 cases and there are actually more deaths from the virus than the virus would have a higher fatality rate than thought. Also by not having widespread testing available, we do not know the true number of asymptomatic cases. We don't know how many asymptomatic people are truly asymptomatic and are not actually pre-symptomatic.
2. Weather effect
In laboratory settings, there have been studies which have shown heat, humidity, and UV light all seem to hurt the virus. We do not know the effects of weather on the virus in the outside world. Cases are going up in our southern states which have experienced warm weather for a while now. Weather may play a role, but the lack of immunity in our population is probably a bigger force. There is probably not enough immunity in our population to see any effect from the warmer weather.
3. Lasting Immunity
As of this moment we don't know how long immunity lasts and if we even develop immunity. There are viruses which can give long lasting immunity such as measles and there are other viruses that give varying degrees of immunity such as the common cold. We do not know at this time what sort of immunity we will get from COVID-19. We, also at this time, do not know about reinfections. There may be issues with inconclusive or false tests which may seem like a reinfection at the moment.
COVID-19 is a new infection and there is a lot we don't know. We do know that hand washing, physical distancing, and wearing a mask in public will cut down the transmission of this virus between people. Continue being smart when out in public to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Stay healthy and be well. And as always, if you need help or need some personal guidance, reach out to me- your health advocate. www.melissahakim.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, 484-533-7822.