Epidemiologist discusses how COVID-19 is spreading

Dr. Albert Ko, an epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health, explains the ways people can come in contact with the coronavirus.
3:33 | 03/10/20

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Transcript for Epidemiologist discusses how COVID-19 is spreading
As the number of corona virus cases now takes up we have more questions about how we can protect ourselves doctor Albert -- an epidemiologist at the Yale school of public health joins us now. For more on what we need to know about this spreading virus I think oh thanks so much for joining us tonight. Thank you mrs. for the invitation. That we keep hearing that people with underlying medical issues are more at risk of contracting this virus but what exactly are. Those underlying conditions. The salute first of all most importantly it's the elderly who have the highest risk of dying from corona virus. Secondly the people people who have chronic health problems critically. Underlying cancer. Lung disease and cardiovascular disease. As well as diabetes have higher risk for dying of crowd of ours who after they've been infected in hospitalized. Are there are other ways for this to spread the signs person to person contact for example in Washington State tomorrow voters are sending in male balance ocean queen being worried about things like. Catching this through saliva and the mail. Seven is to the corona virus like it's likely. Doesn't survive form you know extended periods of time probably less than the nine days nine days and that's based on evidence from. Similar types of viruses in the same family. Sue in these viruses won't persist and you know long transit times are shipments you know cross country and across. Cross countries. At big picture you work and public health is this a mountain testing that we're seeing in the US enough. So now you know always you know we seen this situation what's happening in Italy we've seen what's happened. In Korea and I think one of the most important things is. Who really getting that you know learning from the lessons that we've seen other countries to countries like Hong Kong Singapore that actually controlled the virus. Fairly a fairly well in that requires. You know large amount of testing identifying people who are sick. Having then you know be isolated. As well as implementing social distancing. And that's actually been fascinating to me what are we not doing that Singapore has done so effectively. I think first of all is is that you know what we see now in United States is likely just the tip of the iceberg. In what we need to do it like Singapore and like Hong Kong. Is to doom and you know law expanded the threats of our testing that we can unidentified. Patients Seri people who are sick and have them isolated incident they don't transmit the virus in the community. And in that just yesterday the surgeon general so that we're now mitigation phase what exactly does that mean. Episode first of all we we're we're you know we're in the containment phase in that we're as we're we're every single case we're trying to track them down. And isolate them but also contact their trade tracer contacts in isolate them in what we call quarantined. Now that we have probably will likely widespread trend community transmission. That type of failure of that type of intervention is is actually fairly labor intensive. Sue when you know so now we have to go to mitigation phase where we need to rely. Not only an isolating patients but also using social distancing reducing amount of mass gatherings. We've done the press does closing schools so that we can reduce. The interactions. Between people that transmit the virus RI doctor Albert Collie appreciate your wisdom tonight thanks.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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