Doc Talk #186 – novel Coronavirus

Unless you have been living under a rock, it will have been impossible to escape the media attention and social media frenzy surrounding novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

In this show Dr Dan and Jamieson talked about the coronavirus family, which includes both very benign entities such as common cold virus, but also more serious infections such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome).

We are fortunate to have pretty robust public health surveillance and control mechanisms in place in Canada, with local, provincial and federal partners contributing.

We discussed some simple measures you can take to reduce your risk of exposure (and they don’t include donning surgical masks…).

If you’d like some solid, up to date information, you could do a lot worse than check out the websites of Public Health Agency of Canada, Alberta Health Services and the World Health Organization. If you are considering travelling to an area affected by coronavirus, then up to date travel advice can be found here.

It wouldn’t be DocTalk without some discussion of lifestyle and so we concluded by discussing the death tolls exacted by non-communicable diseases and the importance of paying attention to these, even if they are somewhat less titillating.

Image by 分液漏斗 CC BY-SA (

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