Onmeda: Prof. Dr. Schmidt-Chanasit, the new Coronavirus has reached Germany by now. You expect that it will spread from Bavaria to continue?
Prof., Dr. Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit: After all the data in front of us, we do not assume that there is a mass outbreak is. The case was diagnosed quickly and isolated.
Germany is well prepared?
Schmidt-Chanasit: Germany is very well prepared, which shows just this case. As it was acted so fast – the more you can make at the present time.
For how dangerous they keep the Virus?
Schmidt-Chanasit: at The present time, everything points to the fact that we find ourselves in a similar range as in the case of Influenza, the real flu. Of course you have to watch closely how the Situation develops further. There can always be changes. But currently, we need to make us in Germany, no Worries. All of the measures that could be taken were taken.
Why is there so much excitement about the new Virus? In China, after all, whole towns were on lockdown.
Schmidt-Chanasit: The Situation in China to that in Germany there is no comparison. In China, we have cases of thousands of infected people, and some death. The everything in your Power to do, of course, to the curb. And, of course, a seemingly new Virus is always a cause for concern for the population. We will try comparisons should be used.
What are the comparisons?
Schmidt-Chanasit: die Each year of up to 650 000 people worldwide and in Germany up to 20 000 alone to the Influenza. Compared to that, it’s not particularly dramatic, what we see in China. But of course it is important to remain vigilant.
Especially worrying is the fact that we still do not know much about is currently?
Schmidt-Chanasit: Right. Because that makes an evaluation difficult. But after all, what we know so far, makes the Virus under the impression that it is particularly dangerous. We do not seem to us in the area of SARS to move with a mortality rate of 10 per cent., or MERS, where almost 30 percent of all patients die. We still have a far piece.
Did you just say “seemingly new Virus” – is it not new?
Schmidt-Chanasit: So a Virus is not suddenly, as by a snap of the fingers. This is probably a long time in the animal world. Only it the Virus has done now, to the people to move. And then we notice it.
And that happens through mutations?
Schmidt-Chanasit: Yes, one can explain that certain mutations occurred and caused the Virus to humans and, in particular, human-to-human transfer. This is because viruses mutate always. In particular, RNA viruses such as the Coronavirus. This is nothing Special and happens on a regular basis. Most of the mutations do not lead to a change in the properties, as in this case.
Where do you see the biggest risk?
Schmidt-Chanasit: The crucial questions, which we hopefully soon can answer are firstly, How the Virus is now outside of China, continue in the regions, the infrastructure is not so well placed are they? And secondly, How contagious are Infected in the incubation period and show no symptoms?
What could happen at worst?
Schmidt-Chanasit: If it is true that people without symptoms, the Virus can be transferred, will the outbreak no longer contain can. And if an outbreak occurs in a developing country, it will not be difficult, because there are the resources to fight the infection. It will therefore be crucial to what happens in countries such as Laos or Cambodia. We can actually be happy that it is in China, which can take the necessary measures.
Which people are particularly at risk?
All the data suggest that severe infections mainly in immuno-compromised and elderly people are affected.
How can I protect myself from infection?
With the normal measures that you take against a common cold or Influenza would be: wash your hands Regularly and Affected at least 1.5 meters at a distance. Because we assume that the Virus is transmitted by droplet infection. So, for example, through Sneezing and coughing. A Mouth guard can make sense if it is used properly, so the nose is properly covered, the right side is used, and it sits closely to the face. But only because of the Coronavirus in Germany with a Mouth guard to walk around, I think is exaggerated. We have completely different problems: The influenza season has begun and presently causes a lot more infections.
Suppose someone is tested positive for the Virus – how is the process?
Schmidt-Chanasit: The Person is isolated and it is a message to the health Department out. You will not have to come at a Special isolation unit as in the case of Ebola, but simply in a normal hospital room. Then you look: With whom the person had contact? Where has he infected?
The search of a drug is useful?
Schmidt-Chanasit: Yes. In particular, if you have a drug against a viral disease, which is already on the market. Maybe that has a effectiveness that can be the Coronavirus is transmitted. This is quite conceivable, and would be good, because you would then have a drug. But there is still no data.
Interview with Prof. Dr. med. Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit from the Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for tropical medicine at the 28.1.2020
Online information of the Robert Koch-Institute: www.rki.de (retrieval date: 28.1.2020)
Burden of disease. Online Information from the world health organization WHO: www.who.int (retrieval date 28.1.2020)
*The post “Interview of the Coronavirus” is published by Onmeda. Contact with the executives here.