As the number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 continues to decline, more of public life will reopen. While it's a positive development, Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, offers the stern reminder that "this is not a virus to be trifled with." Nielsen answers questions related to COVID-19 every Thursday morning on WBFO.
During this morning's conversation, Nielsen, a former President of the American Medical Association, compared flu season with the outbreak of the coronavirus.
"This is a completely different situation. In normal influenza season, first of all we have a vaccine," said Nielsen while acknowledging such vaccines are "not perfect," but they do "lessen the impact."
Influenza does claim lives each season, but Nielsen ends the comparison there.
"This is a very different virus and it affects many other organs other than the respiratory system. It causes strokes in young people. You've seen amputation of the leg of a Broadway star who got a clot," Nielsen said.
"It has major neurologic effects and certainly affects the heart and the kidneys. That's really different than influenza so this is not a virus to be trifled with."