I had a chance to catch up with Karen Ayala, the executive director of the DuPage County Health Department and their part in the one (now two) cases of coronavirus in Chicagoland.

Since we recorded the interview, it has been reported that the woman in question transmitted the viral disease to her husband. It is the first time there has been human-to-human transmission of the disease on US soil (it’s happened a lot in China already).  That is important, but not surprising, news as officials knew it was coming eventually.

The main message I gleaned from our conversation is this:

1 – Coronavirus is serious. But so in influenza, which has sickened and killed far more people locally than coronavirus. Maybe that changes over time, but right now, our biggest viral threat to our wellness is the flu.

2 – The things we do to prevent catching the flu can also be good rules of thumb for protecting ourselves from coronavirus. Wash your hands. Cover your mouth when you cough/sneeze. Stay home when you aren’t feeling well and call a doctor.

Be safe out there, friends!