Why are we more concerned about coronavirus than the flu?

4 March 2020, 17:48

By Fiona Jones

Why are we more concerned about coronavirus than the regular seasonal flu? LBC asks a panel of experts all your questions about coronavirus.

There are two reasons, explained Dr Sneh Khemka, firstly because it is a novel virus that we haven't come across before and so the "world is on alert."

The second reason is because it does have increased infectious potential because it presents a protein on the surface which is more likely to penetrate cells - this means it is more virulent.

While normal flu is always around, this novel coronavirus has been shown to be quite infectious.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul corroborated that the coronavirus can affect your health in a "far greater way" than normal flu, with mortality running at 3% - whereas with seasonal flu mortality is well under 1%.

Dr Khemka continued: "There's no way to predict how widespread this is going to become and all of these measures that we're taking, will it contain the virus?

"What we do know is that 80% of people that get the virus will recover normally, about 10% will have some sort of health complication, about 5% will have a serious health complication and there is some mortality associated with it as well but that's not uncommon for these viruses."

The doctors confirmed that the measures taken by the government to contain it are correct as this will likely prevent it from becoming more widespread.