Stephen Curry, normally the star of the Golden State Warriors, took on a different job on Thursday: interviewer. Curry virtually sat down with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on Instagram Live to ask him important questions about the COVID-19 pandemic.
How is COVID-19 different from the flu?
Curry promised to take questions from the viewing audience, but he asked his own question first — and it was a good one: how is COVID-19 different from the flu? According to Dr. Fauci, they’re both similar in that they’re a respiratory illness, but it’s much more transmissible than the flu and much more serious.
Dr Fauci to Steph Curry on the differences between coronavirus and the common flu. Fauci says COVID-19 is 10x more serious than influenza. pic.twitter.com/lEmy7Rxa1a— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) March 26, 2020
While the flu typically has a fatality rate of 0.1 percent, COVID-19 has a fatality rate of 1 percent, and it can be 2 to 3 percent. While those numbers look small, they represent real people — and when many people get sick, those small fatality rates equal a lot of real people. COVID-19 is at least ten times more serious than the flu.
Young people still have to be very careful
Dr. Fauci also wanted to dispel the myth that young people don’t get seriously ill. While a smaller percentage of younger people require hospitalization due to complications from COVID-19, they can still get very sick. And even if they don’t, they can still spread the coronavirus to others. This is a tremendous problem for people who are at high risk for infection and complications, like young children, the elderly, and immunosuppressed.
Dr Fauci to Steph Curry on the age group COVID-19 affects:— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) March 26, 2020
“We are starting to see is that people that are younger, people your age... who are getting seriously ill.”
Fauci said that young people are still the minority but they shouldn’t think they’re “exempt” from the virus. pic.twitter.com/qKIWLZ7zEz
Even though fewer young people are likely to get seriously ill, it’s still vital that they practice social distancing and even self-quarantine — not just for themselves, but for others.
When can people gather in large groups again?
Curry of course asked about when it will be safe for people to gather in groups and watch live sports again. Unfortunately, Dr. Fauci couldn’t give a definitive time frame. He referred to the curve of a virus’s infection rate as it spreads through a population, saying that right now we’re still on the upswing — positive tests are still rapidly rising, as are the number of deaths from complications.
Dr Fauci tells Steph Curry that America can start thinking about getting back to sports when the COVID-19 curve starts to go down. However, Fauci didn’t give a specific date of when that will happen. Full clip here:— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) March 26, 2020
“You need to see the trajectory of the curve start to go down.” pic.twitter.com/9DCTP4Tdpr
It will not be safe to relax social distancing standards until the entire country is far into the downswing of infections, when the number of positive tests and deaths has majorly fallen and continues to rapidly decrease.
Can you get the coronavirus a second time?
A question that Curry and many people have is whether someone can get the coronavirus a second time. Dr. Fauci said that there’s not much specific data about COVID-19 at this point, so he has to rely on how other viruses have behaved. With other viruses, once you get it, fall ill, and completely recover, you have a very small chance of getting reinfected. However, due to the lack of specific testing data for COVID-19, Dr. Fauci emphasized that he can’t say that is 100 percent the case with COVID-19.
If you get Coronavirus and get better, can you get it again? Steph Curry gets the answer. pic.twitter.com/SEkQ2CHoDg— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 26, 2020
Even if you feel completely recovered, it’s still not safe to go out and be around others yet. The clinical standard for recovery is two negative tests 24 hours apart. However, Dr. Fauci said that this standard is completely infeasible at this point due to the limited availability of tests. When you feel better, it’s still very important to stay inside and socially distance yourself from others, especially high-risk populations like young children, the elderly, and the immunosuppressed.
Dr. Fauci suggested those who have more questions head to http://coronavirus.gov, the CDC’s official COVID-19 website, to get more information. Curry promised to save the entire Q&A and post it online in some form so people can hear directly from Dr. Fauci.
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