COVID-19 Update

In a previous article, we asked how we could expect to get back to normal and discussed the different public health strategies used in the management of infectious disease. The WHO has declared COVID-19 a pandemic. It may seem counterintuitive but this may help in normalising the international response which has so far been fragmented. We describe the principles of containment versus mitigation and offer an explanation as to why a move to delay and mitigation is likely to happen eventually here

We are increasing our understanding of this disease. It is clearly very infectious, at least in some circumstances. As we have explained this means that the case severity is likely to be lower than the crude fatality rates in many media reports. We have explained the dilemma of mortality early in epidemics here. The academic consensus for mortality is currently around 0.3-1% (WHO). It could be higher but it could be lower if blood testing eventually confirms more widespread, mild disease. The hospital mortality over the age of 80 years is 15%. Another way of looking at this data is that of every 100 people over the age of 80 who contract COVID-19 and become ill enough to go to hospital. 85% make a full recovery.

Whether children simply do not get the illness or get it and experience mild symptoms is one of the important uncertainties. Regardless, it is good news on both counts. Children and young people seem to have no or very mild disease and if they are getting mild disease it means the individual case severity must be lower than current estimates.

The impact of COVID-19 on the population will be determined by the epidemic, not by the severity of the illness on a case by case basis. We are regularly updating the latest understanding and evidence of this process:

The latest update on COVID-19: The disease

The latest update on COVID-19: The epidemic

As predicted the highly infectious epidemic of anxiety saw the same issues as Hong Kong played out internationally. From poor media coverage and misinformation to fights over toilet rolls. Anxiety is more infectious and more dangerous than the disease itself. Information and education are key factors in the management of both anxiety and infectious disease.

Our health information resources are now available in Chinese and French.

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COVID-19 最新消息

我們在早前發佈的文章談及如何回復正常生活,還有討論了不同管理傳染病的公共健康防控措施。世界衛生組織宣佈COVID-19為全球大流行。雖然以下說法似乎有點矛盾,但將疫情升級至全球大流行,可能可以正常化和統一國際間現在不一的處理方法。我們列出了實施控制及緩和疫情措施的原則,並解釋為何推遲行程和延緩病毒散播在此階段是應付疫情的最好辦法。

我們逐漸對COVID-19有更多了解。此病毒的傳染性十分高,至少在某些情況下很容易傳播。而這代表個案的嚴重性會減低,粗略估計得出的死亡率亦會比媒體報道的低。我們在此解釋了基於早期流行病數據來預測疫情的困難。醫學界目前的共識是此病毒的死亡率大概為0.3-1%。此數字可能會更高,但若血液測試結果得出病毒散播越廣泛,病情會越輕微的話,死亡數字則會大幅下降。

我們目前還不知道小孩是否不會感染此病毒,還是他們染病後只會出現輕微病徵。但無論如何,這是一個好消息。小孩和年輕人似乎不會或只會受輕微感染。如他們只會受輕微感染,這代表個別個案的嚴重程度會比目前估計的低。

COVID-19對人口的影響取決於疫情,而非每宗個案的嚴重程度。我們會定期更新對疫情的理解和證據:

COVID-19 最新消息:疾病

COVID-19 最新消息:流行病

如大家所料,具高度傳染性的焦慮問題不僅在香港出現,現在國際間亦有同樣問題。由不能夠反映實況的媒體報道,到導致市民盲搶廁紙的不實消息,種種資訊令大家感到擔憂。焦慮比病毒本身更具傳染性和危險。教育和資訊流通對控制流行病和焦慮是最重要的。

我們有關健康的資訊現提供中文法語版本。

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