Flattening the curve: Why it’s important to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Mitigating the spread of the coronavirus can help lessen the load hospitals will face.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The University of Michigan shared a blog post that explains why taking strong steps to slow the spread of coronavirus is important.

According to medical historian Howard Markel taking this steps can help protect communities and individuals.

“An outbreak anywhere can go everywhere,” he said. “We all need to pitch in to try to prevent cases both within ourselves and in our communities.”

The goal is to flatten the curve.

The image above, shared by U-M, shows two curves. They indicate what could happen in the United States. The taller, skinnier curve shows the scenario in which a lot of people get sick at once, in a short period of time. If enough people get sick enough to need a hospital, that could overwhelm the nation’s hospitals.

The flatter curve takes longer, but has less of a risk of overwhelming hospitals.

“If you don’t have as many cases coming to the hospitals and clinics at once, it can actually lower the number of total deaths from the virus and from other causes,” he said. “And, importantly, it buys us time for university and government scientists, and industry, to create new therapies, medications and potentially a vaccine.”

Click here to read the full article by the University of Michigan.

Late Tuesday night Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the first two presumptive positive coronavirus cases in the state.

Whitmer urged “community mitigation strategies” in light of the confirmed cases, urging residents and businesses to avoid large gatherings.

“This is to keep the most people we can, safe,” Whitmer said.

One case has been confirmed in an Oakland County resident, and the other is in a Wayne County resident. Both patients are middle-aged -- a man and a woman -- and both are hospitalized. The Oakland County resident has a recent history of international travel while the Wayne County resident has a recent history of domestic travel.

Both cases will need to be confirmed by the CDC because every COVID-19 case that is confirmed by state health officials is considered presumptive and must get a second positive test result from the CDC.

About the Author:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.