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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Dr. Aaronson Suggests Social Distancing to Prevent Coronavirus Spread

The predicted exponential growth of the coronavirus in Minnesota. Source: Jonathan Sellman, MD, MPH

Attention Nebraskans: learn the power of exponential growth and how fast coronavirus can spread from the above graft I sourced from Dr. Sellman, an infectious disease specialist (learn more from Dr. Sellman here.)

Minnesota currently has 54 documented coronavirus or COVID19 cases. The state of Minnesota is on track to have an outbreak, similar to outbreaks seen throughout the world which have consistently shown an exponential rise in the number of cases of coronavirus, which double every 3 days.

For perspective, unless we change the above curve, by April 11th, 2020, and as shown above, Minnesota will have approximately 18,000 cases. By April 26th, the state is projected to have 373,000 cases.

How about Nebraska? What are the numbers here? CURRENT COVID-19 STATISTICS AS OF MARCH 13, 2020
State of Nebraska cases: 12
UPDATE: March 17, 2020: 23

But don't be fooled!

Look again at the above graft. Note how infectious the coronavirus disease is. Note how quickly it goes from 54 to 373,000 (exponential rate of growth). Think about what is happening in other parts of the United States. Ponder about what is happening in Italy. And then consider that until a cure and or vaccine is available for this pandemic we have one option that does indeed work:

Social distancing means you keep away from others. This strategy is critical to avoid spreading this highly infectious disease. We need to take this approach seriously. Also remember to wash your hands, cough into your elbow, don't touch your face, stay at least 3 feet (0.91 meters), and preferably 6 feet (1.83 meters), apart from others when you must interact, and if you feel sick stay at home.

That said, if you have concerns about going to your doctor's appointment, and you have been exposed to coronavirus (or don't know) and are currently experiencing any of the following:
·  Fever of 100 degrees or higher
·  Sore throat
·  Cough
·  Difficulty breathing

I encourage you to please call your doctor, your specialist, for next steps.  There are hotlines, drive-thrus, specific locations to go to for testing if you qualify for assessment, and lab testing location options to consider.

Let's do our best to try preventing the spread of this highly contagious infectious disease.