Coronavirus expert tells people to stop panicking because 'viruses gonna virus'

A coronavirus expert has told people to stop panicking about the disease and said ‘Viruses are going to virus – microbes are going to microbe.’

Dr Rodney Rohde from Texas State University in San Marcos has urged people to calm down about the disease, which has so far killed 14 people in the US and over 3,400 worldwide, saying that it will eventually die off.

Dr Rohde said: ‘Once it kind of burns through the population, which is what viruses do, it will meet a collective human immune response.

‘Most of us will live through it with flu-like, mild flu-like or mild cold-like symptoms and recover.’

The expert says the fatality rate of people with Covid-19, the disease caused by coronavirus is ‘actually pretty calm’. Around 4% of people infected in China, where the virus originated, are believed to have died, with the mortality rate as low as 0.5% in other countries like Italy.

Dr Rohde explained how there are two different strains of coronavirus, and said the current epidemic highlighted the need to develop new vaccines for flu-like illnesses each winter.

He told KVUE: ‘They’re both RNA viruses and RNA viruses tend to rapidly change. It’s why we need a new flu vaccine every year, because it changes either drastically or slightly, so sometimes it may or may not work as well.

‘They’re different, but they’re spread similarly. They’re spread through respiratory droplets. They have many of the same symptoms but not completely all of the same symptomology.

‘They can lead to pneumonia and they can lead to other kinds of secondary infections that can also ultimately lead to death.’

And for anyone still fearful of coronavirus, Dr Rohde reiterated existing advice to wash hands regularly and maintain a safe distance from others who appear sick, or strangers when in large crowds.

He said: ‘Social distancing – it’s thought that coronavirus, and many viruses that are like this, that are “respitorially” spread, that a six-foot perimeter is kind of a safe zone.

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