Expert Explains How Serious Is The Coronavirus

The confusion is that about 10 to 30 percent of the common colds that you and everyone else get during the season, happens to be a coronavirus. But, a certain subset of coronavirus can cause extremely serious diseases. They did it with SARS, they did it with MERS and how they are doing it here with the novel coronavirus.

The reason it is serious is that a question that was asked by Dr. Harris., is that the mortality of this, is multiple times what seasonal flu is.

So seasonal flu spreads widely, the mortality is 0.1%. Right now, in China, the mortality for this particular infection is in the latest report was 3 to 4 percent, it might be a bit less. It is not cold. Interestingly, most of the common colds have upper respiratory infections.

This virus not to get too technical, the upper crown structure component of the virus that binds to a receptor in the body to allow it to infect, those receptors are rich in the lung, that is the problem.

A person can present no sneezing no sinusoids, fever, shortness of breath, you do a chest X-ray and you have pulmonary infiltrates that are not the common cold. So, the public health ways to avoid getting coronavirus are very similar to those to avoid influenza and that is particularly as simplistic as it sounds washing your hands as frequently as you can.

One of the most problems with the respiratory-borne disease is that they are spread either by droplets, someone coughs or sneeze on you, or even a bit of aerosolized where you can be sitting next to someone very close and you don't cough or sneeze but the virus can aerosolize.

So, what it is, it will get in through a mucosal surface that could either be your nose, your mouth or your eye.

The reason for washing your hands is that people often do the wrong thing, that is why you hear us say cough into the crook of your elbow because people sometimes go like to blow their nose. They will shake hands with you, touch a doorknob, 15 minutes later you come by and do that, Then you touch your face and that is how you get it. So that is why that is the first thing.

Secondly, the Incubation period quarantine. The incubation period, the median time, from when you get exposed until you get clinical symptoms, is about 5.2 days, which is the median.

The range is somewhere between 2 and 14. 14 is much, much more the outer limit. So, when someone is suspected of being exposed, they either self-isolate or they get actually institutional quarantine for 14 days.

Process Of Getting Ready The Coronavirus Vaccine

The things that we are doing right now in the form of interventions are in the arena of vaccines and in therapeutics.

I predicted that we would be about 2 to 3 months to go into phase 1 trials. And I think we will be there in probably about 6 weeks. Which, as a matter of fact, will be the fastest that anyone ever has gone from the identification of the sequence into a phase 1 trial of any vaccine that is ever been done, that is the good news.

The sobering news is that since vaccines are given to normal individuals, What is paramount is safety and whether or not it works. So, we will do a phase 1 trial, we will do it in a number of our centers, including our centers at the NIH, that will take about 3 to 4 months. And then if successful - which I believed it will be, there is no reason to believe it would not be safe- we will go into what is called a phase 2 trial.

The phase 1 trial is 45 individuals, the phase 2 trial is hundreds if not a couple of thousand individuals. It would take then about a year to year and a half to be fully confident that we would have a vaccine that would be able to protect the American people. And, so although the good news we did it fast, the bad news is that the reality of vaccinology means this is not going to be something we are going to have tomorrow.

Well, the standard approach when you have a vaccine, for example for influenza we have limited vaccines. You give it to the most venerable and the most venerable clearly are the elderly and those with underlying conditions and those generally are heart disease, chronic lung disease, kidney, diabetes, and obesity. And those are on the immune-suppressive drug who might have underlying cancer.

And so, we are 18 months or so away from that? Probably? At least.

The other important thing is that the healthcare workers and those who are the frontline responders because those who are the ones in every disease are the most venerable.

In fact, if you look in China, the people who were the most venerable before they had good PPE's were the healthcare providers.

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