OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahomans are extremely concerned about the continuing spread of COVID-19, and have many questions about the disease.
The virus that causes the disease – severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) – has infected more than 1,800 people in Oklahoma and caused the death of dozens of residents.
Businesses are shut down, jobs have been lost and daily life has drastically changed to mitigate the spread of a virus that was once believed to be a faraway danger.
Many Oklahomans are going online to find answers about coronavirus.
Google’s analytics department provided News 4 a list of the 10 questions Oklahoma residents most frequently ask about coronavirus.
Those questions and their respective answers are as follows:
1) How many cases of coronavirus are in Oklahoma?
Currently, Oklahoma has 1,684 positive cases of COVID-19. But there are also 1,519 negative cases. Positive cases have risen markedly since the first confirmed cases in early March.
2) How many cases of coronavirus are in the US?
There are 427,460 positive cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 7:45 p.m. Thursday, April 9, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
3) When will coronavirus end?
It is not definitively known when the COVID-19 pandemic will end. A Health.com article states when the pandemic ends depends upon when the virus officially peaks. “How long the COVID-19 crisis continues is contingent on when we hit the apex, when we’re able to flatten the curve and then when it begins to recede,” Gary W. Procop, MD, chair of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)’s Commission on Science, Technology and Policy and vice chair and director of virology at Cleveland Clinic, told Health.
Medical experts have discussed whether the pandemic could come to an end this summer. LiveScience.com reports that a new study found that COVID-19 does not spread as efficiently in warmer and more humid world regions as it did in colder regions.
BBC News reported the following:
“One study indicated countries particularly affected by the virus – those where it was spreading undetected via community transmission – by 10 March had lower average temperatures than those with fewer cases.
Another paper looked at 100 Chinese cities with more than 40 cases of Covid-19 and suggested the higher the temperature and humidity, the lower the rate of transmission.”
But there is no definitive conclusion at this point as to when the current pandemic will cease.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it’s likely that COVID-19 is cyclical and will return in the fall. But Fauci also anticipates that the nation will be much better prepared to deal with the virus by then. Fauci also expressed hope that treatments will be available in the fall, and mentioned the potential of a vaccine becoming available next season.
Medical experts say while there is currently no magic bullet for ending the pandemic, social distancing – keeping at least six feet apart from one another – appears to be slowing down the virus’ spread.
4) How many people have died from coronavirus?
Eighty people in Oklahoma have died from COVID-19 so far. One death was reported by the Oklahoma State Department of Health on Thursday, April 9. The deaths had risen by double digits in the days prior.
There have been 14,696 COVID-19 related deaths in the United States so far, according to the CDC.
5) How did the coronavirus start?
The CDC states that Wuhan, Hubei Province in China is the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The outbreak is linked to a large seafood and live animal market in Wuhan, which suggests the virus spread from an animal to a person.
“Later, a growing number of patients reportedly did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread. Person-to-person spread was subsequently reported outside Hubei and in countries outside China, including in the United States,” the CDC website states.
6) What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?
The CDC says that people who have coronavirus may experience the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing (severe cases)
CDC officials say a person may be sick with the virus for 1 to 14 days before experiencing symptoms.
7) Is coronavirus airborne?
The CDC states that novel coronavirus is spread “mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).”
A prestigious scientific panel told White House officials that research shows coronavirus can be spread not just by sneezes or coughs, but also by talking, or possibly even just breathing.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is stable in aerosols. A study from National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists found that SARS-CoV-2 was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, according to the National Institutes of Health website.
8) How long does coronavirus live on surfaces?
The scientists who found the virus to be stable in aerosols also found it to be stable on various surfaces. The virus was found to be stable for up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.
9) Where did the coronavirus come from?
As previously stated, CDC officials believe a large seafood and animal market in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China is the epicenter of the virus’ outbreak.
10) What is the coronavirus?
A CDC factsheet states the following:
“Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.”