Coronavirus spread is ‘much, much worse’ than that of Ebola #Covid_19

Coronavirus 'much worse' than Ebola

Professor Peter Piot helped discover the older disease (Pictures: South China Morning Post/AFP)

The global spread of coronavirus is ‘much, much worse’ than that of Ebola, according to one of the experts who helped discover the older disease.

Professor Peter Piot said Covid-19 has the potential to develop into a ‘really bad situation’.

He told Sky News that although people are ‘very scared’ of Ebola, it is ‘usually very contained’ due to the fact it ‘requires very close contact for transmission’. Coronavirus on the other hand is ‘very infectious because there’s so much virus in your throat’.

The director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine added: ‘So this is literally something you can catch by talking to somebody, which is not the case with other viruses.’

Co-founder of Ebola virus, professor Peter Piot, speaks at Hong Kong University. 27OCT14 (Photo by Nora Tam/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)

Professor Piot said Covid-19 has the potential to develop into a ‘really bad situation’ (Picture: South China Morning Post)

-- AFP PICTURES OF THE YEAR 2014 -- Medical staff members of the Croix Rouge NGO put on protective suits before collecting the corpse of a victim of Ebola, in Monrovia, on September 29, 2014. Of the four west African nations affected by the Ebola outbreak, Liberia has been hit the hardest, with 3,458 people infected -- more than half of the total number of cases. Of those, 1,830 have died, according to a WHO count released on September 27. AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOTPASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images

Medical staff don protective suits before collecting the corpse of an Ebola victim in Monrovia (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

TOPSHOTS -- AFP PICTURES OF THE YEAR 2014 -- People look on as a woman reacts after her husband is suspected of dying from the Ebola virus, in the Liberian capital Monrovia, on October 4, 2014. By far the most deadly epidemic of Ebola on record has spread into five west African countries since the start of the year, infecting more than 7,000 people and killing about half of them. AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOT.PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images

People look on as a woman reacts after her husband is suspected of dying from the Ebola virus (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

The Ebola virus, which he co-discovered while working at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Belgium, has a death rate of 50 percent on average, but has been known to hit as high as 90 percent in some outbreaks.

Experts currently estimate the death rate in Covid-19 to be around one percent, but it is early days and the true numbers are still unknown.

Echoing the World Health Organisations reclassifying of the virus, Prof Piot said it is now ‘truly a pandemic’.

Co-founder of Ebola virus, professor Peter Piot, speaks at Hong Kong University. 27OCT14 (Photo by Nora Tam/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)

Prof Piot agreed the coronavirus outbreak is now ‘truly a pandemic’ (Picture: South China Morning Post)

SIPA USA via PA Images Tourists wear surgical masks on Tower Bridge during the Coronavirus outbreak in London, UK on March 12, 2020. The UK has entered the delay phase of the governments four point plan to tackle the spread of coronavirus, this is the second phase, which means anyone with a new continuous cough or a high temperature should self-isolate for seven days. (Photo by Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)

He added that the UK could see ‘over 10,000’ cases by Easter (Picture: SIPA USA)

In the UK, where there have so far been 596 confirmed cases and 10 deaths, Prof Piot said we could see a surge in numbers to ‘probably well over 10,000’ by Easter.

As the number of infections continue to increase, the ‘top priority’ will be protecting the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, who have proved to be the most at risk.

Prof Piot urged that ‘we should think carefully about who to visit’ and ‘about the contacts between grandparents and children’ as ‘we don’t know how risky that is’.

The expert said it wouldn’t stop him spending time with loved ones, but suggested taking extra precautions.

Prof Piot added: ‘There won’t be any hugging, handshaking. We have to keep some distance. But with children who jump on grandma’s lap, that’s going to be a bit complicated.’

On the question of ‘inevitable’ contact during close gatherings he continued: ‘I would say that for elderly people who have some immune deficiencies or some serious diabetes, cardiovascular disease, I would be very careful and I would just have other contact, you could organise that through WhatsApp and so on.’

What does self-isolation mean?

Self-isolation means staying indoors and avoiding all contact with other people for 14 days, according to the NHS.

It means no going to work, school, the shops or even to the park for some fresh air, in order to minimise the risk of passing on Covid-19.

Public transport and taxis are a no-no and you shouldn’t have visitors over, even if you just stay at home.

Anyone in self-isolation is advised to ask friends, family and delivery drivers to pick things up for you and drop them-off. You should put a sign outside telling people you are self-isolating and everything should be left on the floor outside your front door to avoid the risk of further infections.

A stock photo of a self-isolation sign left outside a property, instructing where to leave deliveries, illustrating how self-isolating measures can be put in place. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 10, 2020. People with even minor respiratory tract infections or a fever could soon be asked to self-isolate as coronavirus continues to spread in the UK. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus Isolation. Photo credit should read: Jacob King/PA Wire

You should leave a sign outside your property if you have to self-isolate (Picture: PA)

Those who are self-isolating are still advised to stay away from their pets as much as possible and to wash their hands before and after touching them.

If you live in a house share and have to self-isolate, the advice is to stay in your room with the door closed and only emerge to use communal kitchens, bathrooms and living areas if absolutely necessary.

Who should self-isolate?

The government advises anyone returning from Category 1 areas (Hubei, Iran, Italy and Daegu or Cheongdo in South Korea), to go straight home and self-isolate, even if they don’t display any symptoms.

Travellers should use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next.

Anyone returning from Category 2 areas should self-isolate and call 111 if they have Covid-19 symptoms. You can find the list of those places here.

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