New Coronavirus More Virulent Than Suspected

County Health Officer Dr. Ian Hunter says the new coronavirus is more virulent than initially suspected. (Photo by Pat Blair)

The new coronavirus, now called 2019-nCoV, is a lot more virulent than was originally suspected, according to County Health Officer Dr. Ian Hunter.

Speaking at a meeting of Sheridan’s Rotary Club Thursday, Hunter said the virus appears to have a mortality rate of 2 to maybe 3.5 percent.

He said for the younger, average person, the mortality risk is pretty low. He said at least about 85 percent of people who get the disease will get a head cold and get well.

He said the coronavirus is also harder to contract than some other illnesses.

Hunter said the best advice he’s heard recently for prevention of the disease is “Keep calm and wash your hands.” The recommendation is 20 seconds of scrubbing your hands with soap and water.

Dr. John Addlesperger also spoke at the Rotary meeting. (Photo by Pat Blair)

Also speaking at the Rotary meeting was Dr. John Addlesperger, Sheridan Memorial Hospital’s chief medical officer, who talked about what the hospital is doing to prepare for the disease. He said the goal at the hospital at present is to relay information.

Sheridan Media will have more on what the hospital is doing in a future story.

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