As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) causes concerns around the world, Spectrum Health shared 15 things with MLive to ease the minds of those ranging from slightly worried to purely panicked.

For MLive's full list to answer any questions you have click here.

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With misinformation and jokes about the virus being "named after a beer" spreading around social media, here are some facts to consider:

  • 1

    Wash Your Hands

    Washing your hands is the most simple way to keep yourself healthy, even when people are not worried about a pandemic on our hands. Hand sanitizer is a good, quick solution until you can get to soap and water.

    Dr. Russell Lampen, infectious diseases division chief said, "COVID-19 is no more or less contagious than the common cold.”

  • 2


    If (key word there) Coronavirus does cause "disruption" to daily life, Lampen said his hope is it will feel as significant as a bad flu season.

    The biggest thing you can do is be prepared. If you feel you should stock up on groceries, do so. If you feel you may miss work, see if you can work from home. It is better to have a plan set than to need it and not have one.

  • 3

    Is it a pandemic?

    Despite wording chosen by those who are not fully-educated on the situation at hand, Lampen said the World Health Organization has not declared it a pandemic.

    Though there is potential for it to get to that level, it is up to us and information from the WHO to make the distinction between pandemic/panic and preparation.

  • 4


    As far as symptoms, chance of death or hospitalization go, Lampen does note "We still don’t know the true severity of it."

    Symptoms could arise as a mild respiratory illness for some but for others, like the elderly and adults with pre-existing chronic medical conditions, may need hospitalization.

  • 5

    Why all the concern?

    As Lampen said, with the virus' spread timing aligning with flu season, it is very taxing to the health care system.

    “If this comes through and infects a big swath of the population - even if it’s like a bad flu season - it would be like getting two flu seasons back to back,” he said.

    Also, yes, your concerns are valid. Having a virus potentially affecting big parts of the population is scary but prepare, don't panic and most importantly, wash your dang hands!

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