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New lung disease - unnecessary coronavirus panic in Germany?

New lung disease - unnecessary coronavirus panic in Germany?



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How dangerous is the new lung disease?

A new type of corona virus is rampant in China. At least 800 people are said to have been infected and at least 26 people have died from the new virus. As the viruses spread mainly in the eleven million metropolis of Wuhan, the city was temporarily closed off. Infectiologist Professor Oliver Witzke, director of the Clinic for Infectious Diseases and the West German Center for Infectious Diseases at the University Medical Center in Essen, sees no threat to Germany.

The number of people affected is increasing, whole cities are being sealed off: the effects of the corona virus appear dramatic in part and determine the headlines. But how dangerous is it actually? Do I have to cancel a trip because of this? An expert says: Usually not.

There is currently no need to panic in Germany

In Germany there is no reason to panic - not even for travelers, said infectiologist Prof. Oliver Witzke in an interview with the dpa themed service on Friday:

Do people in Germany have to be worried about the corona virus?

Prof. Oliver Witzke: "No. Past experience shows that China is very successful in containing such cases - albeit with relatively effective measures that we consider radical. Nevertheless, of course we have cases worldwide, but these are currently all travelers from the primarily affected area in China. So far, it has also worked very well to quickly identify and contain these cases. I therefore consider the probability that there will be a large number of cases in Europe or Germany to be very low. ”

But it cannot be completely excluded?

Witzke: “I am already assuming that we will also have suspected cases in Germany - for example from travelers who are now in China for the New Year and will return afterwards. The relevant offices and infectious medicine clinics and centers are very well prepared for this, and the corresponding plans are in place. For example, our virological institute will be able to detect the virus immediately and react accordingly from the beginning of next week. ”

How dangerous is the corona virus?

Witzke: “Obviously this is not a new Sars. At that time, Sars had a relatively high death rate, with deaths among young and healthy people too. So far, this has not been the case with the current corona virus - the more severe and very severe courses are more likely to occur in the elderly and in people with previous illnesses. ”

“And compared to Sars, the current corona virus also seems far less aggressive. You always have to keep that in mind. "

What do travelers need to know - on the way to China or elsewhere?

Witzke: “We have a very close cooperation with Wuhan here at the University Medical Center in Essen. There were also planned exchange and delegation trips, which we have now canceled. I think that's absolutely reasonable. "

“But it would be wrong to cut all of China or even all of Asia together. Outside of China in particular, I would not be worried at the moment. You have to keep up to date, of course, even as a tourist - but that's basically true. "

About Oliver Witzke

Professor Oliver Witzke is director of the Clinic for Infectious Diseases and the West German Center for Infectious Diseases, University Medicine Essen, and a member of the German Society for Infectious Diseases (DGI). (vb; source: Tobias Hanraths, dpa / tmn)

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