Skip 
Navigation Link

1215 South Walnut Ave.
Demopolis, AL 36732 map map 

Access to Care: 1-800-239-2901

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
U.S. Veterans With Blocked Leg Arteries Seeing Better ResultsBabies' Exposure to Household Cleaning Products Tied to Later Asthma RiskGrowing Up in U.S. 'Stroke Belt' Bad for the Brain Later in LifeStricter Clean Air Laws Could Save Thousands of Lives a Year: Study9/11 Study Shows PTSD Tied to Earlier DeathBedside 'Sitters' May Not Prevent Hospital FallsDoes Race Play a Part in ICU Outcomes?Coronavirus Doesn't Have to Scare You or Your Kids, Psychologists SayFlame Retardants, Pesticides Remain Threat to U.S. Health: StudyVirtual Reality Can Bring Real-Life PainAre Doctors Discarding 'Injured' Kidneys That Might Be Used for Transplant?AHA News: Worried About Dementia? Check This Blood Pressure NumberSleep Disturbances May Trigger MigraineVaccinations Rose After California Curbed ExemptionsGrowing Obesity Rates May Contribute to Climate ChangeHealth Tip: Do's and Don'ts While Waiting for an AmbulanceAHA News: Could Fish Oil Fight Inflammation?How to Prevent Holiday HeadachesU.S. Poison Centers Field More Calls About Psychoactive Substances: StudyInfants May Not Be as Immune to Measles as ThoughtHealth Tip: Do's and Don'ts for Calling 911Health Tip: A Well-Stocked First-Aid KitOpioids Won't Help Arthritis Patients Long-Term: StudyScreening Truckers for Sleep Apnea Cuts Health Insurance CostsDo You Take Biotin Supplements? They Could Affect Your Medical TestsFewer Opioids After Eye Surgery Don't Mean More Post-Op PainReport Finds Americans' Health Is FlaggingWildfire Smoke Threatens Health for Miles AroundIs Head Injury Causing Dementia? MRI Might ShowAHA News: How Does Hormone Therapy Affect Heart Health in Transgender People?Many Women Are Sharing Breast Milk, and That Has Health Experts WorriedLanguage Barriers May Mean Repeat Visits to the HospitalVision Problems Strike More Than 2 Billion GloballyWhat Are the Risks of Pain Relief Alternatives to Opioids?'Alarming' Number of Lupus Patients Use Opioids for Pain: StudyMental Ills May Put Veterans at Higher Odds for Heart TroubleU.S. Minorities' Recent Health Gains May Be SlowingDon't Let Fear of Cancer Keep You From Doctor VisitsOpioid Prescriptions for Eye Surgery Patients SurgeIntense Gaming Can Trigger Irregular Heartbeat, Fainting in Some PlayersCould Profit Be a Factor in Kidney Transplant Decisions?Treatment for Very-Preterm Infants May Lead to Antibiotic ResistanceHurricane Dorian Can Wreak Havoc on Heart HealthMore CT, MRI Scans Being Used, Despite Calls to Cut BackThousands of Kidneys Thrown Away by U.S. Transplant CentersRestless Legs Syndrome Might Raise Risk of Suicide, Self-HarmMixing Marijuana With Opioids May Not Be Good for Mental HealthAHA News: Hurricane Checklist: Batteries, Bottled Water – And A Plan for Heart CareFor Asthmatic Kids in Tough Neighborhoods, Family Is KeySmog Could Land Newborns in Intensive Care
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Cancer
Men's Health
Women's Health

Coronavirus Doesn't Have to Scare You or Your Kids, Psychologists Say

HealthDay News
by By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Jan 31st 2020

new article illustration

FRIDAY, Jan. 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Coronavirus is all over the news, and people are talking about the latest outbreak that started in China and appears to be rapidly spreading to other countries.

It's happened before. Ebola. MERS. SARS. All are dangerous diseases that took lives, but the widespread panic about these illnesses affected millions more. So, how can you stay calm when these threats arise, and how can you keep kids from worrying too much about these outbreaks?

"It's natural to overreact to a stressor we can't control," said E. Scott Geller, an alumni distinguished professor of psychology at Virginia Tech. "And this is front and center right now, so we have to make an evaluation as to whether we can control this stressor. If we don't think we're in control, there's distress."

But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the current risk to Americans is low. So far, just five people have been confirmed to have the new coronavirus in the United States (currently in Washington state, California, Arizona and Illinois). Another 165 are being tested, according to the CDC. To put that in perspective, the current U.S. population is 327 million people.

In China, there are more than 1.3 billion people. There have been 7,700 confirmed cases of the disease and 170 deaths so far, according to The New York Times. While the spread of the disease is concerning, people face far greater threats every day.

The difference, Geller said is that people feel like they have control over other threats. On a day-to-day basis, risky driving poses a much greater threat than coronavirus to the average American. Yet, people don't often talk about or pay attention to that risk. "We feel in control. We think, 'It's not going to happen to me,'" Geller said.

Flu is another significant threat to Americans. There were more than 34,000 deaths caused by flu during the 2018-2019 season, according to the CDC. The year before, 61,000 people died from flu.

Robin Gurwitch, a psychologist with Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., said, "This virus seems different than the flu. While we know flu threatens young children and the elderly, we can get flu shots. There's no shot for this virus.

"What's giving us pause is this idea that it's out there and I don't have any way to prevent it or fix it if I get it," she explained.

Gurwitch said if you have children who seem concerned about what they've been hearing about this virus, find out what they know and what's really worrying them. "Ask, 'What have you heard about this?'" she suggested.

"Be honest with kids. Explain that it started in China and people are working very hard to make sure that this virus doesn't spread here. Let them know it's like a really bad cold. Tell them what precautions they can take to stay healthy. And then ask them what they think about what you've just told them, so you can correct any misperceptions," Gurwitch said.

If you're watching the news, keep in mind that children are always listening, she said.

Because this is a virus similar to a cold virus, Gurwitch recommended educating your kids about good infection control procedures.

"Let your kids know what they can do to protect themselves. Wash your hands a lot or use an alcohol-based sanitizer. Cover your mouth when you sneeze by sneezing into the crook of your elbow. Don't put your hands near your eyes, mouth or nose," she advised.

More information

To learn more about the new coronavirus, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.