DeKalb County

Emory doctor stresses seriousness of following guidelines in fight against coronavirus

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Everyone is being urged to stay home and the White House has a specific message targeted to young people.

They’re asking the younger generation to stop going out to public places, including bars and restaurants, and spreading asymptomatic coronavirus.

Channel 2’s Carol Sbarge talked to an Emory University public health expert who has the same message.

Dr. Carlos del Rio, an Emory University medical and global health professor, says people need to understand this is serious and could be catastrophic, but we can do something about it.


He says there hasn’t been enough testing, so he suspects the number of Georgians with the coronavirus is 10 to 20 times the current number. He has a strong message for people, especially young people who may think since they’re at lower risk, why do social distancing.

“If people don’t, we’re going to have pandemonium. There’s going to be people going to hospitals needing care. They’re not going to be available. People are going to be dying,” del Rio said.

He says if you are scheduled for a routine checkup, now is a good time to postpone it. He is postponing a doctor’s appointment he has.

Right now, people have a lot of questions about the coronavirus.

One person told Sbarge he wanted to know if people feel sick and worry they have coronavirus, what is recommended? Should they go to urgent care or an emergency room?

Del Rio says if people feel the symptoms they should stay home unless they have shortness of breath, chest tightness, are over 60 or have a chronic disease.