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…an update on COVID-19…..

April 9, 2020

There is more and more news about companies producing a Corona-19 vaccine. Johnson and Johnson company seems to be in the led but the researchers in Pittsburg seem to be just as progressive. I am sure other countries are working on a vaccine as we speak. Johnson and Johnson says they expect their first human trials by September 1. If their vaccine is approved, they are preparing to manufacture 1 billion doses over 4-6 weeks.

Here’s the question; when will it be available for use? Since this vaccine will be used worldwide, safety is of great concern. Overseers (CDC, FDA and WHO) will want to be absolutely sure that any vaccine will do no harm; that means that those brave volunteers who initially get the trial vaccine will have to be observed at least for 21 days if not longer. The vaccine will then be scrutinized to see if it is effective. This involves taking blood samples from such volunteers to see if they have developed specific antibodies to the virus and how effective those antibodies are at neutralizing the virus. Just as in HIV, we have to develop the technology to measure “viral loads” in the blood stream as well (i.e. the number of viral particles detected in the blood).

So, if everything goes well without problems, we may be able to see a global campaign of vaccinating everyone on earth by late Fall-December. That’s an extremely fast production time to produce a new vaccine since the normal span is 2-3 years.

In the meantime, I think it is time we ALL wear something to cover our mouth and nose when exposing ourselves to the public. The 6 foot rule should still apply.

If you are around no one else, masking is not required.

What about testing? I have talked with many parents whose child had a fever.

I have also had children come in the office because of fever. The details of the history such as the age, and duration of illness play a role in decision making.

Most non Corona-19 viral infections clear in 4-5 days, so if a child has had prolonged fever beyond that time timeframe, I become suspicious. I then tell everyone the child has been exposed to self-quarantine themselves for the next 10-14 days. If the child becomes clinically sicker over time and hospitalization is required, that is when testing is done. If the exposed adults who had contact with the child developed symptoms (fever, body aches, cough) then they should be seen in the hospital where testing will be done. The commercial labs still don’t have the quantity of tests kits to test everyone.

Psychologically (since this crisis will undoubtedly last through the summer months), it is important to prevent anxiety and depression since this crisis came down on us with speed and vengeance. Make sure you continue the pattern of your life before the virus started. Get up at the same time; make sure you know the difference between a week day and the weekend. Order pick-up food for the weekend as a treat. Sit out in the sun on a pretty day. Engage in hobbies that you put away because you never had time. Exercise on your own. Be sure to look at comedy on your TV or devices. Laughter combats the fall in serotonin levels that accompany chronic stress. Talk to friends and neighbors on the phone or computer.

THIS CRISIS WILL END !!! BE PATIENT – BE CREATIVE- BE LOVING

Someone “upstairs” is watching your moves actions and heart.

Dr. “D.”

 

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