Since the first COVID-19 case appeared in Washington last month, The Columbian has received many phone calls, emails, Facebook queries and Clark Asks questions about COVID-19.
We’ve compiled more than a dozen of the most frequently asked questions, and answered them.
Why is it taking so long to get Clark County tests back?
The state is working through a backlog of tests, and tests from the Puget Sound area are prioritized because of the size of the outbreak in that region. Close to 90 percent of the state’s confirmed cases are in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties, so there is more urgency around diagnosing cases in those counties.
How is coronavirus different from the flu?
More people have immunity to the flu than COVID-19, because they have been vaccinated or have had the flu before. The flu also has antiviral treatments available, which can lessen its severity and duration, while COVID-19 doesn’t. The flu so far has a lower mortality rate than COVID-19, though researchers still need more data to know exactly how deadly it is. Getting a flu shot to protect against the flu is still important, because it can help prevent people from contracting the flu and overburdening hospital systems, which could see increased strain during the COVID-19 outbreak. There is no known end to COVID-19 in the same way that flu season typically ends sometime in the spring.
How long does it take to recover from COVID-19?
According to the World Health Organization it takes about two weeks for people with mild symptoms to recover, and three to six weeks for those with more severe symptoms. According to the Associated Press, more than 80,000 people in mainland China have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and more than 60,000 people have recovered.