Just how contagious is COVID-19?

Mar 09, 2020 | Mark Porretta


At this point you cannot hide from the news surrounding COVID-19. If you turn on your television or read the newspaper, the top news story will likely cover new findings or cases surrounding COVID-19. As you continue to watch the newest media piece, our fears start to rise, if they haven't done so already. That said, there seems to be the reoccurring narrative of fear or unknown spewed by media outlets and it is our responsibility as viewers to decipher to what degree is noise or the truth. I came across this article in my search to further understand COVID-19 as it relates to other historical viruses. As seen in the article, there is a big difference between the infectiousness and the deadliness of viruses and the two aren't always correlated. For example, "measles are extremely infectious, but rarely fatal...Smallpox was less infectious with an R0 of 5 to 7, but its CFR of roughly 30 percent made it devastating." When it comes to COVID-19, it appears to have a higher infectiousness than the seasonal flu but a lower deadliness. During these times of uncertainty regarding COVID-19 we must try our best to remain objective. When absorbing news from various media outlets, we need to maintain objectivity to current findings and new discoveries. We can't have preconditioned mind frames on how this is going to pan out as well as we have to take what the news outlets say with a grain of salt. These types of situations don't happen frequently and with new information coming out everyday or changing rapidly sometimes the best remedy is just to remain patient and let time itself take its course. 

To access the full article, please click here.