Coronavirus (COVID-19): truth and myth on personal risk perception

covid 19 confirmed

(Brian McGowan, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Paula Pacheco Rocha, a student of the sixth period of Medicine of the Pontifical Catholic University of Campinas- PUC Campinas. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


The epidemic is already predicted as a possibility and aggressive measures are being taken by governments worldwide. Recent history on this kind of virus (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-Cov) in 2003 and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012) suggest low risk of catastrophe.

Governments and control organs should face the potential risk of epidemics so that they not spread undesirably. Nevertheless, rationally, there is a huge difference on individual perception risk compared to populational perception risk.

It is a cognitive misunderstanding to say individual risk of lethality is high for the Coronavirus. Epidemiology analysis is important to face some facts and let the fake news panic aside. First of all, the new Coronavirus has a lethality around 2%, while 2002 SARS had around 10% lethality.

Speaking of epidemiology still, the risk for dissemination is different from risk of lethality and most times they go opposite ways: smaller pathogenicity of a virus increases the chances of dissemination, as people do not skip work or stay at home due to light symptoms. That is why the risk of dissemination of Coronavirus is high and there are measures to try to isolate people with mild  symptomatology. The measures took upon isolating people look, intuitively, for the layman on the subject, as directed to a very lethal disease- which is not the case. Community-acquired pneumonia can reach 13% lethality among hospitalized patients and we have not seen any panic around that.

It is indeed necessary that there is professional and governmental worry around coronavirus, but, for the common individual, the panic is unjustifiable. On the matter of individual worries, people around the world have much more important problems to worry about, like the situation of their own country public health. Emerging infectious diseases occur and have been occurring for thousands of years, but, nowadays, the speed on which they spread is the biggest worry, turning a red light on diseases being globalized already, but not the public health coverage.

References

A Globalização da doença. Rev. Saúde Pública,  São Paulo ,  v. 37, n. 3, p. 273-274,  June  2003 .   Available from <http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-89102003000300001&lng=en&nrm=iso&gt;. access on  31  Jan.  2020.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102003000300001.

PERALTA, Rogelio MD et al. Community-acquired Pneumonia: A Potentially Lethal Emergency?. Clinical Pulmonary Medicine, [S. l.], v. 20, n. 4, p. 166-171, 1 jul. 2013.

About the author

Paula Pacheco Rocha is a student of the sixth period of Medicine of the Pontifical Catholic University of Campinas- PUC Campinas. Class monitor of Microbiology, assisting the Professor Dr. Maria Magali Stelato. Member of IFMSA Brazil- PUC Campinas as LEO-in (Local Exchange Officer for incoming students) and LORA-D (Director of the Standing Committee of Sexual and Reproductive Health including HIV and AIDS). She believes immensely in Global Cooperation for the future of human health on Earth, with the development of technologies like AI and nanomedicine backed by ethical, human intercultural knowledge exchange.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

5 creative alternatives to plastic packaging

UN chief condemns student abductions in north-west Cameroon

How the gender commuting gap could be harming women’s careers

These 11 companies are leading the way to a circular economy

Here’s how we get businesses to harmonize on climate change

A Sting Exclusive: “Regional Policy: a fully-fledged investment policy”, Commissioner Cretu reveals live from European Business Summit 2015

How the mobile industry is driving climate progress on the scale of a major economy

These countries are leading the way in green finance

Movius @ MWC14: Discussing novel Communications Applications over a “CAFÉ”

International Day of the Midwife: 5 things you should know

UN Security Council welcomes results of Mali’s presidential elections

UNICEF warns of ‘lost generation’ of Rohingya youth, one year after Myanmar exodus

Residents and visitors to this Dutch neighborhood could share a pool of cars and bikes

Rising insecurity in Central Africa Republic threatens wider region, Security Council told

Medical education during COVID-19 pandemic

Horn of Africa: UN chief welcomes Djibouti agreement between Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia

Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate deal is bad for US business. Here’s why.

Mental distress during the pandemic: is there a way out?

Social, cultural diversity ‘an enormous richness, not a threat’ Guterres declares calling on investment for a harmonious future

Commission reaches agreement with collaborative economy platforms to publish key data on tourism accommodation

European Commission presents comprehensive approach for the modernisation of the World Trade Organisation

Migration crisis, a human crisis after all

EU consumers will soon be able to defend their rights collectively

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate Change needs to be demystified”, Anneli Jättenmäki Vice President of European Parliament underscores from Brussels

Commission statement on the European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism

Ηealth’s foundation is falling apart: what can we do about it?

MWC19 Wrap Up, in association with The European Sting, GSMA’s Brussels Media Partner for the 6th Consecutive Year

Does hosting a World Cup make economic sense?

Cyprus tragedy reveals Eurozone’s arbitrary functioning

5 inventions that could transform the health of our ocean

Yemen: ‘A great first step’ UN declares as aid team accesses grain silo which can feed millions

It’s time to end our ‘separate but unequal’ approach to mental health

Education remains an impossible dream for many refugees and migrants

iSting: Change Europe with your Writing

Now doctors can manipulate genetics to modify babies, is it ethical?

One more country to test the EU project: Kaczynski’s Poland

4 ways leaders are driving innovation in the public sector and revolutionising governance

10 of Albert Einstein’s best quotes

Will Boris Johnson’s victory lead to a no-deal Brexit or is there still time?

How 2020 taught businesses to place empathy before profit

Coronavirus COVID-19 wipes $50 billion off global exports in February alone, as IMF pledges support for vulnerable nations

Korea should improve the quality of employment for older workers

These companies can recycle nearly anything, from cigarette butts to fax machines

Cancer research put at risk by General Data Protection Regulation? The possible dangers of a data privacy EU mania

75 years after Auschwitz liberation, antisemitism still threatens ‘foundations of democratic societies’

This new form of currency could transform the way we see money

The Japanese have a word to help them be less wasteful – ‘mottainai’

Look no hands: self-driving vehicles’ public trust problem

Why Eurozone can afford spending for growth

Lack of involvement, or lack of opportunities?

3 reasons why responsibly-deployed technology is key to the COVID recovery

As Saudi women take the wheel, UN chief hopes end of driving ban creates more opportunities for kingdom’s women and girls

This is what the world’s CEOs think about the global outlook

EU Budget 2019: no deal before the end of the conciliation period

Sudan Partnership Conference: EU mobilises more support for Sudan’s transition

MWC 2016 LIVE: T-Mobile US reveals 5G trial plans

Parliament cuts own spending to facilitate agreement on EU budget

Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) of 22/05/2018: EU relations with key trading partners

EU mobilises €21 million to support Palestine refugees via the UN Relief and Works Agency

These photos show some of the world’s smallest things massively magnified

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s