St. Barnabas Hospital doctor seeks to clear up COVID-19 confusionPosted: Updated:
An infectious disease doctor is working to clear up confusion and speculation around the coronavirus outbreak.
Dr. Edward Telzak has been looking into infectious diseases for about 35 years at St. Barnabas Hospital. Telzak has even worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Epidemic Outbreak investigations.
"There are many coronaviruses," said Dr. Telzak. In fact, he says you may even have had one before. "The cause of the common cold, the common respiratory infection -- there are four or five coronaviruses that circulate that cause very mild disease," said Dr. Telzak.
However, he says there are more strains. "SARS was a coronavirus, MERS -- Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome -- both of them had very high mortality rates that was a coronavirus," said Dr. Telzak.
He says the latest strain is being called COVID-19.
"SARS, MERS and this particular coronavirus COVID-19 are much more pathogenic, much more transmissible, you know, have resulted in certain populations in serious illness and in fact in death," said Dr. Telzak.
While it can be serious for certain people, Dr. Telzak wants people to keep this in mind when talking about the COVID-19 strain.
"That the overwhelming majority, 90-plus percent of individuals and even a much higher proportion of individuals who are otherwise healthy really get the minimal disease from this coronavirus," said Dr. Telzak.