In-Depth: Coronavirus understood and explained

Recap the facts with experts on coronavirus

Tim Wenger
March 05, 2020 - 3:07 pm

Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told residents of the state this week amidst growing concerns of the spread of Coronavirus, “the fear is outpacing reason."

That was the basis of a special three hour radio show on WBEN that offered fact-based information on Coronavirus from a battery of in-studio guests.

WBEN News Anchor Brian Mazurowski dedicated three hours Thursday to information from the experts on what we all need to know about the Coronavirus, its spread and its impact on our lives.  The show was aimed at giving perspective and offering tangible information on the facts we should all know and how they apply to our individual lives and families.

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein opened the show with Brian and offered the latest update on the public health impact the spread of Coronavirus is having on the community.

"There are some countries that are Level 2 that could quickly go to Level 3," Burstein said. "When people are planning travel outside the United States, it's really something they should take into account that when they return they may need to be quarantined for 14 days. People can maybe wait for their decisions to book or purchase some pretty comprehensive travel insurance so they'll be able to cancel and get a full or almost full refund on their travel expenses."

Burstein said they are relying on people to voluntarily contact the health department if they are returning from Italy. She said even if people feel well, the incubation period for the virus is 14 days and they should take cautions to not infect loved ones.

"If it is a social norm, then people around them will not be happy if they hear that a friend of theirs with the flu just returned from Italy and is walking around not complying with health department orders that could protect the rest of the community," Burstein said.

Dr. Ken Snyder, Chief Physician Quality Officer at Kaleida Health and John Sellick, DO, an epidemiologist at Kaleida, joined Brian in studio during the nine o'clock hour to offer their perspectives on how area hospitals are prepared for the virus.

Snyder said that the risk for the average American to catch coronavirus is low and that it will be similar to the flu.

"It's very impressive when you say there's 90,000 cases, so even if there is underreporting, you're looking at this on a background with countries with a billion people in the populations," Shiley said. "The overall risk is low and what we're trying to do is manage our communities. For our health care providers, we want them to stay focused on risk and not just get everybody lathered up because they have a fever and a cough. We still have a lot of flu in the community."

In the 10am hour, Dr. Kevin Shiley, Catholic Health Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control along with Marty Boryszak, Senior Vice President of Acute Care Services at CHS discussed their preparations and offer advice and information to the public.

"Right now in terms of the number of cases that we know about at least in different areas in the United States, it's still a relatively uncommon illness," Shiley said. "That said, I think all of us in public health are anticipating that more cases will be discovered in various areas of the country."

Boryszak said they are continuing to prepare staff for coronavirus and are conducting a variety of drills related to the virus.

Finally, in the 11am hour, the financial response to Coronavirus fears and concerns was discussed at length in studio with Ed Hutton, Associate Professor and Director of the Financial Services Laboratory at Niagara University.

"Companies (might) start laying people off," Hutton said. "One. They can't manufacture the product because they're not getting the supplies they need. Companies are going to cut back on their manufacturing."

He said that coronavirus also lowered interest rates and said 30-year mortgage rates are near the lowest its ever been.


Following are links to many of the stories we’ve already reported on concerning Coronavirus as well as in-depth podcast audio on various aspects of the Coronavirus concerns .


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