Doctor P. Alxander explains everything you need to know about coronavirus
including how it spreads, how to prevent it and what ‘facts’ are true
An Australian doctor has offered an insight into the deadly coronavirus outbreak
Dr Preeya Alexander claimed the virus appears ‘not as contagious as measles’
She claimed a person with measles can infect 12 to 18 unvaccinated people
While one contagious person with coronavirus can infect one to three people
Coronavirus is spread by respiratory droplets released via coughing or sneezing
Australia’s deputy chief medical officer said the virus is spread by close contact ‘over a period of time’ so it’s ‘virtually totally safe’ to walk past an infected person
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as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread, an Australian doctor has offered an updated insight into the deadly virus.
Dr Preeya Alexander, a general practitioner from Melbourne, claimed while the coronavirus does appear to spread more easily than severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), it’s ‘not as contagious as measles’.
‘Measles are highly contagious,’ Dr Alexander – who publishes medical insight on her Instagram page called The Wholesome Doctor – said.
‘A single contagious person with measles can infect 12 to 18 unvaccinated individuals. With coronavirus, it appears one contagious person can infect one to three other people.’
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread from China, Australian doctor Preeya Alexander (pictured) has offered an updated insight into the deadly virus
The highly-contagious virus has infected more than 17,000 people worldwide – including 12 cases in Australia (picture of people lining up outside a store to buy sanitary masks in fear of coronavirus outbreak in Hong Kong on February 3)
Coronavirus is spread by respiratory droplets released from coughing or sneezing.
Last month, Australia’s deputy chief medical officer professor Paul Kelly said the virus is spread by close contact ‘over a period of time’ so it’s ‘virtually totally safe’ to walk past an infected person on the street.
‘Australia’s deputy chief medical officer confirmed that coronavirus is spread by close contact with a contagious person over a period of time – “over time” is the key here,’ Dr Alexander explained.
‘Experts are saying that walking past an infected person on the street is actually low risk – it’s likely not close enough to contract the illness if you’re simply walking past.
‘I thought this is something that all of you would like to know too – it’s reassuring amidst what seems like a lot of hysteria and panic often around this virus; the more information we all have from reputable sources the better.’
The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed tests proved humans caught it from animals at the Huanan Seafood Wholesales Market in Wuhan city.
The highly-contagious virus has infected more than 17,000 people worldwide – including 12 cases in Australia – four in New South Wales, four in Victoria, two in South Australia, and two in Queensland, the Department of Health confirmed.
Dr Alexander said she wanted to bring some clarity to the hysteria surrounding the coronavirus epidemic
As the World Health Organisation (WHO) declares the coronavirus epidemic to be a global emergency, Dr Alexander said there are things you can do to take precautions.
‘Key way to protect yourself – avoid contact with unwell people and practice excellent hand hygiene (washing hands thoroughly) particularly before eating or touching your face,’ the GP said.
‘If you are concerned or think you have had contact with an infected person and you’re now unwell (cough, fever etc) ensure you let your GP or emergency department know ahead of time so they can quarantine you and protect others.
‘As always sadly there is lots of misinformation on forums like this – garlic, mouth gargles, essential oil diffusers will have no effect in preventing nor treating coronavirus – there is not a drop of research to support these claims so be careful what you read.’
Dr Alexander said she wanted to bring some clarity to the hysteria surrounding the coronavirus epidemic.
‘It’s OK to feel nervous but please know as a medical community this is often how we feel in flu season – which occurs yearly,’ she said.
‘All the right people – researchers, WHO and governments are onto this. So don’t panic, alert but not alarmed would be the way to go here.’
Coronavirus: What we know so far in Australia
How many cases have been confirmed in Australia?
As of February 4, 2020, there are 12 cases confirmed in Australia – four in New South Wales, four in Victoria, two in South Australia, and two in Queensland.
What is the virus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can make humans and animals sick. They cause illnesses that can range from the common cold to more severe diseases.
Symptoms of coronavirus
Symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Some people will recover easily, and others may get very sick very quickly. Affected people may experience:
flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue
shortness of breath
What to do if you become unwell
If you become unwell and suspect you may have symptoms of coronavirus, you must seek medical attention.
Please ring ahead of time to book your appointment. This will help make your doctor aware of your symptoms and your travel history or recent close contact.
How is coronavirus treated?
There is no specific treatment for coronavirus. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Most of the symptoms can be treated with supportive medical care.
How you can help prevent the spread of the virus
Everyone should practice good hygiene and other measures to protect against infections.
Good hygiene includes:
washing your hands often with soap and water
using a tissue and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze
The coronavirus is most likely spread from person to person through:
direct close contact with a person while they are infectious
contact with droplets when a person with a confirmed infection coughs or sneezes
touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that has droplets from a cough or sneeze by an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face
Should I wear a face mask?
Face masks are not recommended for use by healthy members of the public. A face mask will not protect you against becoming infected.
However, if you are unwell or are in isolation and you need to go outside, you should wear a face mask if available to protect others.
Source: Australian Government’s Department of Health