Dr. Thad Franz and Dr. Zach Jenkins

Facts Over Fear: Insight About COVID-19 from Cedarville Expert

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by Clem Boyd, Communication Content Manager

Cedarville University's School of Pharmacy and Cedar Care Village Pharmacy presented an online town hall on COVID-19 Friday, March 13, with Dr. Zach Jenkins, an infectious disease expert and assistant professor of pharmacy practice. The town hall addressed all aspects of the coronavirus pandemic.

To watch the townhall presentation, click the link below:

COVID-19 Town Hall graphic with play button

In addition to his clinical and academic work, Dr. Jenkins has provided regular insight on the coronavirus for radio programs across the United States. Just in the past month, Dr. Jenkins has appeared on radio stations in Columbus, Dayton, Chicago and West Palm Beach, Florida, to discuss the cause of the coronavirus, ways to protect against the disease and help calm fears.

Here are some highlights from Jenkins’ presentation:

The coronavirus itself has been encountered before. There are multiple strains of coronavirus, even one that’s indigenous to the United States. These coronaviruses cause respiratory illness. COVID-19, however, is unique in the setting of human infection.

Experts believe COVID-19 originated from animals, specifically a bat. But they also think there was an intermediary source before it was transferred to humans.

COVID-19 was originally found to be from China in the Hubei province.

Closures and restrictions are taking place to accomplish what epidemiologists call “flattening the curve.” If we don’t delay the rate the infection spreads, we may overwhelm our health care system. These things may seem extreme, but the intent is to preserve our health care resources as best as we can.

Refer people to reliable information. It’s important that we keep things factual. One source of reliable information is the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center (coronavirus.jhu.edu).

As big as this problem seems, little things can make a huge difference: not touching your face; washing hands after you touch surfaces others touch frequently; coughing into the crook of your elbow; sneezing over your shoulder.

Fever is one of the biggest symptoms of COVID-19. Eighty-eight percent of patients will have a fever, but there are other symptoms such as dry cough, fatigue, sputum production, shortness of breath, etc.

Those above the age of 49 are affected the most, particularly those 80 or older, based on the data that’s coming out of China.

The very young are not impacted by COVID-19 much at all, but if the very young contract it, it becomes easy to transfer it to other people. It does impact anyone and everyone at some level. There’s a lot of fear and concern going around.

Remember:

  • It’s all about facts and not fear. We learn more and more about this every day, and that’s why staying informed is important.
  • It’s all about awareness and not anxiety. Make sure you’re not completely distancing yourself from what’s going on. You need to be aware of what’s going on around you so you can act and not react.
  • It’s all about preparedness and not panic. Have those emergency plans in place: have your medical information up to date; have your records of important legal documents; have enough food for a two-week period to discourage you from going to the store where you may be around those who are sick. Be prepared to act.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,380 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including its Doctor of Pharmacy program, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.