Coronavirus: What you should know about the threat to you and your family

Franciscan Health's Dr. Christopher Doehring talks about the coronavirus outbreak. (WTHR photo)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - It's all over the news and social media and it's scary, but how much of a threat does the coronavirus really pose to you and your family?

We asked Dr. Christopher Doehring at Franciscian Health Hospital.

Franciscan Health Hospital, Indianapolis (WTHR photo)

"Coronavirus is not really an imminent threat," said Doehring. "The flu is here with us now and is wreaking havoc across our communities, filling up hospitals."

That's right, the flu. So far, just over 100 deaths have been attributed to coronavirus, most in China, none in the U.S. Yet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says so far this season, about 8,200 people in the U.S. have died from flu-related illness, 38 in Indiana.

"This year, it certainly came early and has persisted and we're still seeing very high rates," Doehring said.

Central Indiana hospitals, including Franciscan Health, have been restricting visitors because of the flu since just before Christmas.

So, why aren't more people worried about it?


"We have a vaccine to prevent the flu and we don't yet for coronavirus," said Doehring. "That's part of the disconnect."

We're also used to it.

"I think we understand it's seasonal, an annual exercise we go though, but it is something we all need to take very seriously," Doehring said.

Especially when you consider all the patients now in hospitals and showing up at emergency rooms because of flu-related symptoms.

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