Former HHS Secretary Tom Price, M.D.: Coronavirus–the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

A worker packs protective facemasks at a production facility in the outskirts of Ahmedabad on February 3, 2020. - China said on February 3 it urgently needed medical equipment and surgical masks as the death toll from a new coronavirus jumped above 360, making it more deadly than the SARS …
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Dr. Tom Price, former U.S. Secretary of HHS, writes for Fox News, breaking down his analysis of the novel 2019 coronavirus (2019-nCoV) into the good (such as localization of the source), the bad (a vaccine won’t be available for many months), and the ugly (China):

The Good

So far there have been only eight cases of infection in the U.S. by this new bug It appears that all but one of those have occurred in people who had traveled to Wuhan, China before coming to the states and therefore contracted their illness outside of our borders. The spouse of one of these patients – who had not traveled to China – contracted the disease, which is evidence for the human to human transmission. This raises the greatest concern of all. However, it appears that close contact with an infected person is needed in order to become infected yourself.

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The Bad

In addition, because viruses are not able to be treated with antibiotics, the care available for those infected is primarily supportive. Treatment consists of mitigating the symptoms with fluids, anti-viral agents and medications for fever and aches. A vaccine is the best form of care to stop the spread and prevent greater numbers of infections from occurring or spreading. With a new virus, however, developing a vaccine that is safe and effective takes some time. The gene sequence of 2019-nCoV was determined very quickly and the CDC has made that information available to all so that manufacturers can work as rapidly as possible to develop that new vaccine. It is likely that we’ll not have this protection available until late summer or early fall at the very earliest.

The Ugly

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China, however, is China. If the past is prologue, there is little confidence that China is sharing all the needed information, especially the number of cases and deaths. There are anecdotal reports that there are thousands of deaths in China that have yet to be reported to the international health community. Bugs are smart and have no respect for international or geographical boundaries. This is precisely why complete candor and sharing of information is vital to an appropriate response and conclusion of this epidemic.

Read the rest of the article here.

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