More covid-19 cases in county
You only have to look to see that the covid-19 pandemic is getting worse.
6 new cases have shown up in Lexington County and 9 in Richland County.
29 positive cases are reported in Richland County, 12 positives in Lexington and one each in Aiken, Calhoun and Saluda counties.
And a new strain has been detected with 2 new symptoms. You lose your sense of taste and smell.
How bad is it really?
To answer that, we consulted Dr. Lachin Hatemi of Veritas Health Group.
He said it is highly contagious and spreading rapidly.
Some blame the rapid spread to people who have not taken it seriously.
We have more research data than a week ago.
Every positive case teaches more about the virus, how it spreads and how we react.
We have discovered that the initial virus has mutated into 2 strains. Dr. Hatemi says it could mutate again.
We also see more people between age 20 and 55 contracting covid-19, but only 7% in that age group die.
Centers for Disease Control experts say 80% of those who die are over 65 with pre-existing health conditions including diabetes.
A reason Italy has many deaths is because they have more people over 65.
At first it was thought the virus could only survive on a surface for a few minutes, but research now indicates it could survive for days.
It is not an airborne contagion but can be transmitted by a sneeze, cough or saliva, hence the social distancing need.
That means staying home, keeping 6 feet apart, and only going grocery shopping once a week.
It’s inconvenient, but Dr. Hatemi said it is most effective in slowing the spread.
The longer people wait to take precautions, the longer the pandemic will last.
At this rate, more than 10,000 may die in the US.
He said we must slow the spread to avoid overwhelming the health care system and give scientists time to find treatments and cures.
Some hope the malaria drug hydrochloroquine may work without bad side effects.
But Dr. Hatemi said there is just not enough evidence to show if it will work on both current strains and future mutations.