Coronavirus Update on Transmission and Treatment

To be tested for the deadly Coronavirus, you must meet specific criteria set out by the CDC. One Detroit Metro Airport passenger will not be tested for the illness after he was taken to the hospital for Coronavirus-like symptoms because he did not meet these criteria. In addition to showing signs of a fever or lower respiratory illness like shortness of breath or coughing, the CDC says you must also have:

  • Had exposure to a Coronavirus case that was already confirmed in a laboratory
  • Traveled to anywhere in mainland China or Hubei Province within 14 days of showing symptoms

Because the Detroit Metro Airport passenger did not meet these criteria, Michigan health officials say no additional information will be released, as they are no longer considered a person under investigation. 

Transmission of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus

A paper that was recently published on the transmission of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus may be flawed. The paper indicated the Coronavirus may be spread before symptoms appear. More research is still needed to confirm one way or another. 

The paper centered around a businesswoman who flew from China to Germany and met with colleagues. She became sick on her return flight and then tested positive for the virus. The authors of the paper did not speak with this woman but were told she did not display any symptoms before the return flight. What’s more, if four other people in Germany then tested positive for the virus. Because it was reported the businesswoman did not have symptoms, researchers concluded the virus could be transmitted before someone even knew they were sick. However, further investigation by the German government’s public health agency revealed she did have mild, non-specific symptoms such as back pain and fatigue. It was also revealed that she took antipyretic medication, which is used to prevent or reduce fever. So, while inconclusive, the World Health Organization maintains the primary way to contract the virus is from symptomatic cases.

Remdesivir – China’s Antiviral Drug

Reports indicate Chinese researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology have developed an antiviral drug called ‘remdesivir’. They have applied for a patent, though the drug is experimental and just now entering clinical trials. Though the drug is not licensed or approved, this is still good news that progress is being made. We don’t have a safe and effective treatment yet, but hopefully, that reality is on the horizon. In the meantime, the World Health Organization maintains there are no known effective therapeutics against the Novel Coronavirus.

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