Is Australia flattening the curve of novel coronavirus cases? Explained.

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In the absence of a vaccine that could stop an outbreak altogether, a flattened curve is beneficial.

Speaking to Mamamia’s daily news podcast, The Quicky, Dr Sanjaya Senanayake, an infectious disease specialist and Associate Professor at ANU Medical School, explained why.

“You can have [an outbreak] end quickly or end over a longer period of time,” he said. “When you hear those options, the former one — ending quickly — sounds better. But for that to occur, it means that a lot of people will get infected at once.”

That scenario essentially relies on the fact that people who get the virus develop immunity to it, and then… well, in very basic terms, that’s it; it’s all over.

“The problem with that is that the health system may not have the capacity to cope,” Dr Senanayake said.

And as we’ve seen through Italy and Spain, that can be deadly.

Both countries have been…

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