COVID 19 – Some strains more deadly than other strains of the same virus?

China has been adapting and adjusting for months to the COVID 19 virus in efforts to contain the spread. Some of the more serious measures implemented include preventing people from going in and out of cities, placing millions of residents on lockdown. The extreme measures appear to be helping.

Iran, Italy and South Korea have seen a spike of cases in their countries, with some of them reporting a significantly higher number of deaths. South Korea has over 7,000 confirmed cases and 44 deaths while Italy has over 4,600 confirmed cases and 197 deaths. Italy has 4 times the number of deaths than South Korea and has nearly half the confirmed cases. One has to wonder why Italy is seeing a higher percentage of deaths. Could it be that these countries have a more lethal strain of the virus?

Italian COVID cases as of 3/7/2020

One theory is that the COVID 19 virus may have more lethal strains in some regions. There are many articles published online about this theory. If true, that could explain why some countries are seeing more deaths than other countries.

Another concern is that our health care system will be overwhelmed with trying to treat infected individuals. One emergency room doctor provides his opinion of what he expects. and Italy is already seeing this occur in their country.

If we are starting to see isolated spots of more lethal strains in the United States, we should be doing more to stop the spread of those strains. The United States passed and signed 8 billion in funding to fight the virus. It is a dramatic start. However, we need to implement even more dramatic changes. We need to follow the lead of other countries who have students learning from home, enforcing better guidelines for travelers, and are aggressively disinfecting hot zones. Unfortunately, we already have 17 confirmed deaths in the US and we will see more unless we implement dramatic changes. Are we as a country committed to implementing the actions necessary to prevent further spread?

world in his hands

Image by David Bruyland from Pixabay

Updated 3/25/20 at 12:34  pm EST

Paul Connor

About Paul Connor

Nationally Certified Physician Assistant.
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