Photo of the coronavirus that is green and round with spikes.

Video: COVID-19 Why it Matters, Part 3 – Why is this virus so serious?

This video series features UW-Green Bay’s Immunologist Brian Merkel on COVID-19 and Why it Matters. This series empowers viewers with knowledge to help them navigate through the pandemic. Merkel has a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from the Medical College of Virginia. He is an associate professor in UW-Green Bay’s Human Biology & Biology programs and has an appointment at the Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He will be responding to a number of questions related to COVID19 and try to get behind the “why” it’s important to be educated in your decision-making as we navigate the pandemic together.

 

Video Transcript – COVID-19 Why it Matters, Part 3: Why is this virus serious?

Brian Merkel, Microbiology and Immunology, talking about why COVID-19 matters to you.

COVID-19 is a very serious disease. It carries a high fatal case fatality rate much higher than seasonal influenza. It is highly transmissible, which means it spreads around very quickly and efficiently. And for people like me who study public health there are really two things that become important when we think about what makes something very serious and a threat. And the two things that are particularly are important, number one is what the case fatality rate and for this one it’s high and how transmissible or how contagious it is.

This particular disease is serious in terms of those two things. The other thing to become serious too is that as a consideration is that we don’t have drugs to treat the infection and we don’t have a vaccine to prevent the population from becoming infected. And so, what that means is for those individuals that are particularly at high risk, there’s a high risk for those individuals suffering severe disease and or death. And so, as we continue with these video clips we’re going to talk about what you can do to try to help and what our collective responsibility is.

Other videos from the series you may have missed:

COVID-19 Why it Matters: Video Series Introduction with Brian Merkel https://youtu.be/M-yYPSPk30Q

Part 1: What are viruses and where did this one come from https://youtu.be/DYbiIv8ICgs

Part 2: Two main types of viruses https://youtu.be/O-OVk3rx96s