When a new disease appears a measure of concern is natural since we don’t know yet what we’re dealing with, but just statistically it’s highly unlikely a disease, just because it is new, will be particularly deadly. On the contrary, chances are a new disease will be no more deadly or untreatable than the average existing one.
We can applaud China for taking the threat seriously, just to be on the safe side, but there is no reason to fall for the media’s relentless attempts to maximize your stress levels. They’ll use every trick in the book to maximize your attention and earn a bigger advertiser buck.
We go through this every couple of years. Mad cow disease, bird flu, SARS, ebola are just a few of the past examples. In the end, none of them ever racked up high body counts.
The Wuhan virus has so far killed 26 people, all of whom were elderly or had pre-existing conditions. In fact, the median age of the first 19 victims is 75-years old.
The common flu kills 300,000-600,000 people yearly, depending on the year. Likewise overwhelmingly among the elderly.