Coronavirus: What is it and how to Understand it

Orleans Parish Coroner, Dr. Dwight McKenna wants you to understand the Coronavirus and
know how to notice the signs. Doctor McKenna says that in addition to fever, common signs
of infection include cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Some patients will
have had diarrhea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal symptoms.

In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, kidney failure, acute respiratory syndrome
and death. The incubation period appears to be up to 2 weeks, according to the World Health Organization.

Many of us have questions about the contagious virus. Here’s what we know so far:

• It seems to spread very easily, making containment efforts difficult
• It’s hard to know how deadly the virus is, but the fatality rate may be more than 1%
• It takes about 5-7 days for symptoms to show, allowing the illness to go undetected
• China had slowed down on new cases, but the spreading around the world is speeding up
• Treatment: a few drugs are being tested in clinical trials, but a vaccine is still at least a year

Dr. McKenna says the virus is a serious public health concern, but you are unlikely to get
infected outside of areas where it is spreading widely. To avoid any viral illness it is suggested
that you:

• Wash your hands a lot
• Take Vitamin C
• Avoid office or school when you’re sick


Read The City of New Orleans’ statement on the Coronavirus: