YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – If the term “coronavirus” showed up on your medical chart, would you panic? Most people would. But coronavirus is actually a common term in medicine — in fact, you might have it right now.
Right now, there are 15 confirmed cases of “coronavirus” in seven states across the U.S.
There’s confusion over coronavirus because the name is already commonly-used in medicine.
“Many of us have the common cold right now and it probably is coronavirus,” Dr. James Kravec said. “That’s the virus that’s been around for years.”
The coronavirus we’re seeing in China is a different version but in the same class. It was just given a new name last week — Covid-19.
“That will help a little because I think, as patients, they see their record and they see that they have coronavirus,” Kravec said.
Some local people have seen coronavirus on their records, gotten scared and immediately called the doctor.
A respiratory swab has shown they have a coronavirus but it’s not the same as the one in China.
Ohio has no cases of Covid-19.
Kravec said preventing the virus’ spread involves the same recommendations as with the common cold or flu.
“We should wash our hands, we should cover our cough, we should stay home when we’re sick. That’s the best way to avoid either becoming sick or spreading what you have.”
There may be 70,000 patients worldwide with Covid-19 but only 15 so far in America.
The flu is still out there and Kravec said there’s no comparison to it. An estimated 26 million Americans will get the flu this season. Of those, 250,000 will need to be hospitalized and 14,000 will die.
“If there was a vaccine for the coronavirus, I bet you people would be lining up and down the block,” Kravec said. “But there is a vaccine for flu and many people don’t receive it.”
Mercy Health wants people to have a better understanding of coronavirus. You should start seeing its public awareness campaign on TV soon, explaining what you just heard — coronavirus is a common term and Covid-19 is not found in Ohio right now.