What started as a mysterious new illness that effectively shutdown the Chinese city of Wuhan is now a global health emergency as medical professionals around the world are trying to diagnose, quarantine, and contain the Coronavirus, or COVID-19 as the kids are calling it. New cases seem to be popping up on an hourly basis, but how concerned should we be? Let’s talk to the professionals!
This week on the podcast, we’re going to hear from Doctor Nicola Mercer, the Medical Officer of Health for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, and Doctor Amy Greer, the Canada Research Chair in Population Disease Modeling and Associate Professor in the Department of Population Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College of the University of Guelph.
First, we will hear from Doctor Mercer about local strategy and preparedness should COVID-19 make an appearance in Guelph or Wellington County, and what lessons they’re taking from other jurisdictions already combating cases of the disease. Mercer will also talk about co-ordinating with other agencies and levels of government, what the media should be doing to keep people up-to-date, where to get the best information, and why Canada’s health system might be well-suited to tackle the unique challenges of COVID-19.
Second, we’ll talk to Doctor Greer, whose full-time job is studying how diseases spread, and the best strategies to mitigate potential pandemics. Doctor Greer talks about her research, how COVID-19 compares to other recent health emergencies like SARS and H1N1, and whether the response by the government and our health services is equal to the challenge. She also talks about the tricky balancing act in keeping people informed versus creating panic, and the unique challenges of dealing with a disease that for most people is indistinguishable from the common cold, and right in the middle of cold and flu season.
So let’s talk about the plan against COV-19 on this week’s Guelph Politicast!
The Government of Ontario has established a one-stop webpage for all the latest Coronavirus news, and you can find it here. For local updates, you can got to the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health website here.
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