NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Families are packing local doctors’ offices, fearful they have the novel coronavirus. That’s why a group of doctors have launched the “Coronavirus Education Campaign.”
Around 600 doctors with American Family Care (AFC) are on board with the campaign, which started after a number of patients came in concerned that they had the Wuhan coronavirus.
“People come in with cough, low-grade fever all the time,” Dr. Robert Jackson with AFC in Hendersonville told News 2.
The symptoms can be similar to the deadly virus from China and a diagnosis of simply a coronavirus can be confusing.
“Coronaviruses are actually a part of a family of viruses that cause respiratory cough, low-grade fever, nausea, vomiting those types of things,” he explained.
It’s not uncommon for someone to be diagnosed with a strain of coronavirus in the U.S., but it’s not the deadly virus known as the Wuhan coronavirus, the novel coronavirus or the 2019-nCoV virus that’s causing concern in China.
“Coronaviruses are not new, this particular virus, the 2019-nCoV virus, is a new strain of coronavirus that has come up from Wuhan China so people are more at risk if they travel or have been in contact with people from Wuhan,” said Dr. Jackson.
Local doctors like himself are quick to point out that the flu should be more of a concern in the U.S.
“Every year we diagnose millions of cases of flu and flu actually kills more people than coronavirus has thus far. 35,000 cases of flu have killed people in the last year as a matter of fact and we’ve seen millions of cases diagnosed this year, so people are more apt to have the flu virus.”
However, keep in mind, the Wuhan coronavirus hasn’t really hit the U.S. aside from a dozen isolated cases. If you compare the death rates between the virus from China and the flu so far this season, the novel coronavirus rate is much higher than the flu.
“We have developed protocols here at AFC to let the community be aware that we understand the concern, but we have mechanisms in place to test if there is actually concern that they may actually have the novel coronavirus,” said Jackson.
Right now, the only way to test for the novel coronavirus is through the CDC.