PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With the coronavirus having widespread impact across the United States, some are thinking: how worried should you be? There is no reason for alarm in the Philadelphia region right now as there’s no evidence of an outbreak.
There’s two presumptive coronavirus patients in North Jersey and the Philadelphia Health Department has one potential case that’s pending. Many suspicious cases have come back negative.
However, people travel and the virus is in 19 states, so staying informed is important.
People are stocking up on supplies like hand sanitizer — items that fight germs that could potentially help guard against coronavirus. Covid-19 is a contagious respiratory injection that appears to be spreading quickly in the United States.
Experts say there’s no need to be panicked as the risk of being infected with coronavirus is still low.
“A new risk is always scarier than one we’re familiar with because it has elements of the unknown and not knowing what we need to know to protect ourselves leaves us a little powerless and out of control. That’s why we buy masks and stock up on food, it’s something we can do to get control,” risk expert David Ropeik said.
Experts say risk depends on where you live. People near the hot spots in Westchester, New York or Seattle have a higher likelihood of being infected, rather than someone in the Philadelphia region, where there’s no evidence of an outbreak.
“Some people are mildly concerned. There are some people who are a bit more stressed that are wildly afraid of the world coming to an end,” pharmacist Lawrence Yakobzon said. “Some people are a little bit calmer, when you rationally look at the numbers of those extremely sick to those of the quantity of the people infected.”
In terms of numbers, the flu is much more widespread, but there is at least a vaccine for that.
Doctors say most coronavirus cases are mild, but it is more dangerous for the elderly and people who are already sick.