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Coronavirus: Local doctor separates fact from fiction

Posted at 4:58 PM, Feb 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-07 19:13:08-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Fears over coronavirus are growing, and so is the misinformation.

Since Jan. 21, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said nearly 350 people were under investigation for the disease, but just a handful tested positive so far.

"As of today that I am aware of, 12 cases in a country of 330 million people," said Dr. Larry Bush, an infectious disease specialist.

But there are tens of thousands of cases across the globe, mostly in China,

"It is getting a huge amount of national attention because of the shear numbers and the because of the fear factor it promotes," said Dr. Bush.

Bush said fear isn't necessary. In extreme cases online, people have even worried that eating Chinese food could spread the virus.

"Going to an Asia restaurant in this country has noting to do with what is going on in Asia," said Bush. "I see videos all the time of wash your hands and make sure you are being clean."

Florida Atlantic University student Andre Fernandes said he’s trying to stay in the know.

"There are a lot of misconceptions with the coronavirus," said Fernandes. "People are going little bit crazy. People think because you are sick you automatically have the virus."

Dr. Bush said only certain people are at risk.

"The people who should be concerned here are the people who have come back from that area, or they have been exposed to someone here who has been diagnosed or under investigation," said Bush.

The doctor's advice is only go to China if absolutely necessary, and remember, you're still much more likely to get the flu than the coronavirus.

"In the list of diseases that one could worry about, this in my mind would not be top on the list," said Bush.