University of Toledo experts talk coronavirus concerns with the community

(Photo: CDC) (MGN)
(Photo: CDC) (MGN)(KWQC)
Published: Mar. 4, 2020 at 8:55 PM EST
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It has become a common sight across the country: people stocking up on supplies in hopes of keeping the coronavirus at bay.

"We sold out of the masks first and then the hand sanitizer went a little bit after," Steve Theodorou, a pharmacy manager at a Philadelphia drug store said. "I guess people were nervous about the potential spread."

While it has spread to 16 states, the virus also known as COVID-19 isn't present locally. With so many questions and concerns around the disease, the University of Toledo put together a panel Wednesday to address it.

"There's a lot of questions, there's a lot of misconceptions," Jennifer Hanrahan, UT's director of infectious diseases said.

Hanrahan was one of four experts who talked everything coronavirus with the community, including its causes, how it spreads and ways to avoid it. While it's a reason for concern, Hanrahan says people locally shouldn't stress.

"Don't panic because panic is not going to be helpful," Hanrahan said.

Hanrahan said it's possible that COVID-19 could come to the area, and people should take sensible steps to prepare.

"People need to start thinking about if there are a lot of cases in the community, are there ways that I could reduce going out?," Hanrahan said.

When it comes to buying things like medical masks and sanitizers, she said there's no need to go overboard.

"It's important for people to realize soap and water works," Hanrahan said. "People should wash their hands for 15 to 20 seconds."

UT experts are also reminding people to seek out real, fact-based resources on the coronavirus. Those can be found through places like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.