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Distinguishing the novel coronavirus from influenza

02 April 2020
Volume 12 · Issue 4

Paramedics are at the frontline of healthcare delivery and this includes during the current coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus poses specific problems for paramedics. These issues not only involve treating and transporting infected patients, but also decontamination and disinfection of ambulances and medical equipment.

Subjects such as personal protective equipment (PPE), coronavirus antibody testing and the specific pneumonia associated with the new and novel coronavirus will all be discussed in future issues of the Journal of Paramedic Practice.

An issue that needs to be urgently addressed now, however, is that of confusing the current coronavirus with the influenza virus: coronaviruses and influenza viruses are not the same and they both cause different diseases.

The epidemic of 2019 novel coronavirus (now officially called SARS-CoV-2) has expanded from its place of origin, Wuhan, in China, and is now being exported to a number of countries around the world. Some of these countries have seen onward transmission (Lipsitch et al, 2020).

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