Coronavirus: the truth against the myths

virus coronavirus

(CDC, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Kevouy Richard Reid, a first year medical officer at a type B medical facility in St
Catherine, Jamaica. He 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 2019 novel coronavirus is a betacoronavirus first identified in Wuhan city, Hubei Province in China. The virus was initially linked to a live animal and seafood market with zoonotic transmission assumed to be the primary mode of inheritance. There has since been suspected human to human transmission of the virus between patients and healthcare providers. Like other well known coronaviruses, 2019-nCov is believed to have its reservoir in bats.

The virus primarily insults  the respiratory system with symptoms ranging from a mild upper respiratory tract infection to severe respiratory compromise and need for ventilatory support..Currently, the dense air of global hysteria and panic which exists is largely embedded in misinformation sensationalized through social media platforms, unsubstantiated xenophobia and a slow response of international public health agencies in educating and alleviating the fears of the general public.

Firstly in a recent 2019 retrospective single centre case series published by Wang et al the case fatality rate for 2019-nCov was estimated at 4.3%. This essentially means that in excess of 95% of patients who contract 2019-nCov should make a full recovery. When compared to its predecessors SARS and MERS with fatality rates of 9.6% and 34.4% respectively, this new betacoronavirus is not the most fatal viral outbreak to hit mankind in recent times. The study also goes on to show that 34.1% of the patients involved in the study were discharged, 61.6% remained hospitalized with 26% of those patients requiring ICU care at the time of publishing.

The data from the above mentioned study further highlights that the patients requiring ICU care once admitted were usually older with pre-existing comorbidities which already predisposed them to a poor outcome. The 6 patients which died in the study were all patients admitted to the ICU. The small sample size of the study, lack of uniform treatment administered to patients and varied patient profile limits the extent to which the outcomes can be extrapolated to the world at large.

Like most viral respiratory tract infections there is no specific treatment for 2019n-Cov. The course of the disease is self limiting in nature with treatment being largely supportive than curative. Containment of the the spread of the infection lies in early recognition and isolation of suspected patients, appropriate and timely use of personal protective equipment by healthcare providers, rapid administration of meticulous supportive care and the dissemination of clear, concise and factual information across a single universal medium to the general public.

The prevailing view by key public health stakeholders is that there is aggressive limitation of the spread of the virus to other countries until a vaccine can likely be engineered thus preventing the world from plunging into a pandemic.


Wang, D. et al (2020, February 07). Clinical Characteristics of 138 Hospitalized Patients With 2019 Novel Coronavirus–Infected Pneumonia in Wuhan, China. Retrieved February 08, 2020, from,

About the author

Kevouy Richard Reid is a first year medical officer at a type B medical facility in St
Catherine, Jamaica. He’s an future aspiring cardiologist with a passion for public health,
advocacy, student led government and volunteerism. His life resolve is that all things can be achieved once hard work, commitment and passion lie at the center. He’s an author, scholar, youth enthusiast, physician and family oriented individual. He’s a fervent advocate of mental health that in his spare time enjoys swimming, travelling, doing yoga, taking photographs, watching plays and going to the beach.


the sting Milestone

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

Coronavirus: Commission boosts budget for repatriation flights and rescEU stockpile

Theresa May’s global Britain against Philip Hammond’s Brexit fog

Preventing and resolving conflicts must form ‘backbone’ of collective efforts – UN chief

This woman solved one of the biggest problems facing green energy

The EU to bear the cost of eventual sanctions against Russia

This heroic doctor is waging war on rape and the stigma around it

Glasgow and Edinburgh race to become the UK’s first net-zero emissions city

OECD joins with Argentina to fight financial crime

Do men and women really have different leadership styles?

Amid ‘unprecedented combination’ of epidemics, UN and partners begin cholera vaccination campaign in DR Congo

EU-Turkey relations: EU considers imposing sanctions while Turkey keeps violating Cyprus’ sovereignty

‘Abhorrent’ ambulance attack in Libyan capital imperils life-saving work, warns UN

Bosnia and Herzegovina: MEPs concerned by slow progress in EU-related reforms

Japan’s agro-food sector would benefit greatly from policies to boost innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainable resource use

COP21 Breaking News: Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation Announced

Around 23 million boys have married before reaching 15; ‘we can end this violation’ says UNICEF chief

Real EU unemployment rate at 10.2%+4.1%+4.7%: Eurostat Update

US Middle East peace plan ‘lopsided’, says independent UN rights expert

How a 3-point plan could help rebuild business for the long-term

JADE Generations Club: Connecting perspectives, changing Europe.

US pardons for accused war criminals, contrary to international law: UN rights office

Coronavirus could trigger a hunger pandemic – unless urgent action is taken

Here’s how a circular economy could change the world by 2030

EP supports local authorities fighting the effects of the pandemic

Further reforms will promote a more inclusive and resilient Indonesian economy

Antitrust: Commission fines Google €4.34 billion for illegal practices regarding Android mobile devices to strengthen dominance of Google’s search engine

The Parliament defies a politically biased Banking Union

Europe, US and Russia haggle over Ukraine’s convulsing body; Russians and Americans press on for an all out civil war

Latin America is a mass-transit powerhouse. But it needs fine-tuning

How wealthy people transmit this advantage to their children and grand children

Can technology save life on Earth?

ECB: Monetary policy decisions

Why home is the least safe place to be a woman

Climate change: ‘A moral, ethical and economic imperative’ to slow global warming say UN leaders, calling for more action

Big world banks to pay $ 4.95bn for cheating customers; Is it a punishment or a gentle caress?

London wants new skyscrapers to protect cyclists from wind tunnels

How to talk to people about mental health – and support one another

President Juncker temporarily transfers portfolio responsibilities following departure of two Members of the European Commission

EU budget for 2019: do more for the young, SMEs and the climate, urge MEPs

Copyright: MEPs update rules for the digital age

An Eastern Wind

UN Assembly calls on all States to observe Olympic Truce throughout Tokyo Summer Games

CEOs say these 4 factors will shape business in 2020

Dare to be vulnerable, and three other lessons in leadership

This robot has soft hands. It could be the future of sustainable production

Four major resources for new European young entrepreneurs

ILO warns of widespread insecurity in the global labour market

This city in India swaps plastic for free meals

‘Multi-generational tragedy’ in Israel and Palestine demands political will for two-State solution

European Commission launches infringement proceedings against the UK following its failure to name a candidate for EU Commissioner

When is necessary understand the cultural marks in health-disease process

Bolivia: UN underlines support for ‘credible, transparent and inclusive’ election

MEPs urge the EU to lead the way to net-zero emissions by 2050

How COVID-19 compares to seasonal flu, and why you should take it seriously

Renewal of cross-border aid operation critical to northern Syria: UN relief chief

Supercomputing could solve the world’s problems, and create many more

European Junior Enterprise Network – Ready to take the Step Into the Future?

A Sting Exclusive: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on South China Sea issue at the ASEAN Regional Forum

Want to shop more sustainably and recycle better? This app could help

Electronic or conventional cigarettes – which is safer?

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

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

You are commenting using your 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