FOX13 Investigates: Coronavirus, fact or fiction?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A government-chartered plane has reportedly picked up more than two-hundred Americans in Wuhan, China, to get them out of the city at the center of the coronavirus outbreak.

The coronavirus is a mysterious, seemingly-sudden virus that’s taking more lives by the day.

In fact, the FOX13 digital team uncovered Mid-South google searches are skyrocketing with the word—so just how concerned do we all need to be?

FOX13 investigative reporter Leah Jordan went on a mission for answers today.

“I just want to know more about it,” said Tevin Bowman. “Like why can't people touch their faces after they get in contact with it? What is it?”

What is it?

It’s a simple question on the minds of many – with a not-so-simple answer.

“I know it's not a good thing,” said Charles Reed. “I've seen the news on it, and it's not a good thing at all.”

The new respiratory virus causes fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, according to the CDC.

The coronavirus has reportedly killed more than 100 people, so far in china, with more than 4,500 cases documented.

Now, cases are popping up in the United States.

“As far as the coronavirus, a serious thing,” said Dr. Mark Castellaw. “We don’t need to downplay it. but don’t be hysterical about it as well. It’s pretty much isolated in Asia. Traveling is a risk.”

Dr. Castellaw said a lot of avoiding the coronavirus is simply doing what you’d do to avoid any other sickness.

“The main thing is with any kind of virus, the old-fashioned thing of keeping your hands clean, covering your mouth when you sneeze, that’s still a part of the whole process,” he said.

Some people we spoke with around Memphis had personal worries.

This man told us his grandson is visiting from China, where he works and while he isn’t concerned about catching the virus, he is concerned about possible life changes.

“He’s visiting me us, my wife and I, and so he is paying a lot of attention,” said Mike Dale. “Because he doesn’t know what his employment status will be if they close.”

Overall, Dr. Castellaw said while the coronavirus is serious, the flu is way more of a threat here in the Mid-South.