Pennsylvania Health Department addresses coronavirus misconceptions


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The coronavirus has gained worldwide attention, but health professionals say there is a lot of misinformation.

“The reason that it’s causing such a panic is one [where] we’re in a globalized age. This popped up suddenly in a very densely populated area and spread very fast, so you started to see these cases,” said Nathan Harig, Assistant Chief at Cumberland Goodwill EMS.

Symptoms of the coronavirus are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. There have been 11 cases in the United States so far.

“I think it certainly deserves attention, but it’s very important that people here in Pennsylvania stay very calm. There are no cases of the coronavirus in Pennsylvania,” state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said.

Health officials say since the coronavirus made its way to the U.S., it has led to increased panic, stemming from social media.

“We’re in an age of social media so a lot of people will see a meme or something that they just take it face value on Twitter, and suddenly it’s being spread instantly faster than the virus can spread,” Harig said.

According to the state Health Department, you are more likely to become sick with the cold or flu than to be diagnosed with coronavirus. More people have been diagnosed with the flu coronavirus worldwide since October.

Health officials say you should rely on reputable news agencies, such as the Department of Health and the CDC, for information about the coronavirus.

“We have our command center running and we’re monitoring it very, very closely, we’re in contact with other states and federal government on a regular basis,” Levine said.

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