Why This Coronavirus Is Not Like the Flu, or Even the Swine Flu

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COVID-19 is unlike anything in our lifetime. But the president has repeatedly compared it to the H1N1 swine flu outbreak of 2009. Here's why it's different, and much more dangerous.





A total of 401 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Arizona as of Wednesday, March 25, according to the morning report from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

There are 49 confirmed cases in Pima County. While COVID-19 is particularly dangerous to people 60 and older, the majority of confirmed cases in Pima County are under 66. The Pima County Health Department reports that confirmed cases include 18 people between 18 and 40 years old, 15 between 41 and 65 years old and 12 people 66 years and older. There have been no confirmed cases of juveniles under 18.

The virus has killed six people in Arizona, including a Pima County woman in her 50s who had underlying health conditions.

In Maricopa County, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen to 251, with 52 more cases being reported than yesterday.

Health and government officials have urged the public to avoid unnecessary trips and gatherings of more than 10 people. They warn that the extremely contagious virus is rapidly spreading in the community. Symptoms can take up to 14 days to appear, so people can pass COVID-19 without realizing they have been infected with it. Some people remain entirely asymptotic but are carriers.

COVID-19 symptoms typically occur two to 14 days after exposure, and include headache, fever, cough, and shortness of breath, according to the CDC. However, some cases of the virus are entirely asymptomatic. Practices to avoid infection include social distancing (of at least six feet), washing your hands, avoiding unnecessary trips and not touching your face. COVID-19 can survive on cardboard for up to 24 hours, and on stainless steel and plastic surfaces up to three days. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, speak with a healthcare provider for medical advice.

According to the CDC, people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Stay at home and avoid public transportation, but stay in touch with your doctor. If you do leave your home, wear a facemask and clean your hands often. If you develop more severe symptoms (persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, bluish lips) get medical attention immediately. Your local health authorities will give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.

Have you caught COVID-19? Are you feeling ill? Is your small business struggling to make it? Have you lost your job as a result of the outbreak? Are you struggling to manage your kids while schools are closed? Tell us your COVID-19 stories. Send an email to tucsoneditor@tucsonlocalmedia.com.

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