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Coronavirus in the Czech Republic: Epidemiologist sees no reason to panic

Karolína Lišková
11.Mar 2020
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2 minutes
Koronavirus děsí lidstvo.

By Wednesday noon, 64 people in the Czech Republic had already been infected with the new type of coronavirus COVID-19. Panic is in full swing, face masks, respirators or disinfectants are completely sold out. According to Václava Adámková, Head of Microbiology of the General University Hospital in Prague, there is no reason to panic. There are much worse viruses threatening mankind.

Všeobecná fakultní nemocnice v Praze zakázala návštěvy.
Respirátory jakékoholiv typu jsou k nesehnání.
Roušky by měli nosit nakažení pacienti.

For the numbers to be objective, everyone would have to be tested, which is impossible. Thousands of people have returned from Italy.

"Due to this, the numbers that will be published will always be taken out of context. I don't want to say that it will be only the tip of the iceberg, I don't think so, but it doesn't represent the truth of the situation, and it is entirely impossible to use these figures to calculate any data on the incidence, prevalence, lethality or mortality of the infection, because all we'll do is test a group of individuals and get some positive results, but that's about it. We can't apply it to the whole population,"

says the doctor.

Prodej luxusního bytu s terasou, Praha 1
Prodej luxusního bytu s terasou, Praha 1, Praha 1

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Primářka mikrobiologie Václava Adámková.
Primářka mikrobiologie Václava Adámková. Source: archiv VFN

Killer flu

By March 1, fifty people had died of the flu in the Czech Republic. It is a high number that is not being publicly discussed because, in the doctor's words - what the eye can't see, the heart won't grieve over. In addition, most people think that the flu simply cures itself over time and in home environment, as opposed to the coronavirus, when patients require hospital care. According to Adámková, this is not true, because in our country, most of the infected are in home quarantine, while in the General University Hospital in Prague, a lot of the patients currently hospitalized in the anesthesiology and resuscitation clinic have the flu - and it's not the old and sick, but young, healthy individuals without predisposing factors.

Other scares

Even worse, according to the doctor, is the fact that people have no idea, because it's never mentioned, about the existence of serious bacteria multiresistant to antibiotics that spread during travel and actually kill people.

"I consider this a much bigger medical problem,"

says Adámková, adding that in thirty years from now, there will be many bacteria and viruses that won't respond to any antibiotics.

"That is why I think there's no reason to panic about the coronavirus. The hospitals are well prepared, equipped and those who will present with a different issue than the new type of virus don't have to worry about not receiving care,"

she summed up.

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Koronavir má zatím v Česku mírný průběh.
Koronavir má zatím v Česku mírný průběh. Source: Pixabay

Vaccination and prevention

According to the microbiologist, it is simply essential to have a healthy respect for each virus and bacterium and it's necessary not to neglect personal hygiene, which is the most important factor in prevention. She also stressed that people should get vaccinated against influenza, as vaccination coverage in the Czech Republic is minimal, inspite of the availability of vaccines.

Like other experts, she believes that the coronavirus will abate with the coming spring, as these microorganisms are more susceptible to warm weather.

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