Kids less likely to get coronavirus, St. Pete pediatrician says

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The coronavirus continues to become a growing concern for many, especially parents who wonder what the virus could mean for their children. 

Dr. Juan Dumois, a pediatric and infectious diseases physician with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital spoke to News Channel 8 to address several common fears.  

How do you prevent the coronavirus? 

Dr. Dumois says the coronavirus is mainly being spread by touching objects that are already contaminated by the virus or if someone infected coughs in your face. 

“Be aware of the habits of touching your face. People touch their face multiple times an hour. If you are aware of that and clean your hands before touching your face, you won’t get coronavirus or a bunch of other respiratory viruses like the flu.”

How do you test for the coronavirus? 

If you are concerned you may have the coronavirus, Dr. Dumois recommends going to see your physician immediately.  

“Your physician has to contact the health department who then arranges for the testing to get done but that is the only way. Similarly, if you show up to the hospital because you are sick and need to get tested, the hospital will make arrangements with the health department.” 

Is the flu more common than the coronavirus?  

Dr. Dumois, says the flu is far more common than the coronavirus and has a higher mortality rate.  

“The current coronavirus death rates are higher than what are reported for the flu. They are reporting about 1 percent to 2 percent of people with the coronavirus dying. Whereas the flu death rates are one or two per thousand. So it sounds like the coronavirus is 10 times more fatal than the flu but the problem with those numbers is that the coronavirus numbers are not including the people who have no symptoms or people who just have a few sniffles or who are not very sick because they are not getting tested. What we will eventually find is that the coronavirus death rates will drop once we get better data.”

Is Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital prepared if a patient tests positive for the virus? 

According to Dr. Dumois, children are affected by the coronavirus less frequently than adults. And when they do get it, it is not as severe. 

“Children had a definite advantage,” he said.

In the meantime, All Children’s Hospital has a plan in place if a patient were to test positive for the virus. 

“Hospital staff have been preparing for the possibility for the coronavirus infected patients showing up. We have plans in place for how to treat them and isolate them so that we don’t accidentally spread it to other patients.” 

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