Top Doctor Talks COVID Therapeutics and Combating a Second Wave
Dr. Rajeev Fernando is one of New York's top infectious disease specialists, and this week, he talks about COVID-19 therapeutics, combating a second wave, and we find out if he thinks the virus was man made.
When you need to know what's happening with the coronavirus, join KICKS 105.5 every Thursday morning. Dr. Rajeev Fernando answers your COVID-19 questions.
With the high number of new cases over the last week, 45 plus new cases a day in Danbury alone, now aside from shutting down the economy again, what can we do to slow down what appears to be the start of a second wave?
"We're doing a lot more testing, and that's what's been partially responsible for capturing the vast amount of cases we're picking up now, and that's from younger people, as opposed to when the pandemic started and it was primarily the elderly population. Beyond the usual masks and social distancing, there's not that much we can really do. I travel all over the world and people ask how come I haven't gotten it yet, and I tell them we know the rules, and do those three things, wear a mask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing, and you should be safe."
Maryann in Brewster wants to know, that since she's hearing a lot about the therapeutics Remdesivir and Regeneron, will these level the playing field when it comes to people with COVID-19?
"Great question, Remdesivir is an anti viral drug, which in my clinical experience, having been using it for many months, I found a very luke warm response. If anyone has a low oxygen level, we automatically start them on Rendesivir. The data we have now shows it does decrease the hospitalization, but doesn't have any mortality benefit. However, I'm glad you asked about Regeneron because I think that's going to be a game changer. Regeneron is an antibody cocktail therapy, which means your giving an injection that's like a new immune system. Where I use it is in people with risk factors before they get clinically ill. For me, the two real drugs that really work well with patients is the Regeneron along with a steroid."
Finally, Kevin in New Milford asks for your opinion on the origin of the virus, and wants to know if you think it was man made?
Another good question, nothing is with certainty, these are all virus' that come from bats. This is SARS COVID 2, we had SARS COVID 1, and both are very similar. About 80% of these virus' are completely similar. I did look at the structure myself, and discussed it with colleagues, and there's nothing that tells us that this was a man made virus. There's a huge disinformation campaign out there, you have to understand that this is a pandemic, and people are tired, and are just looking for different answers, so at this point, I urge people to just follow the healthcare professionals. When you think about it, what's going to change right now, even if China manufactured the virus, which I don't think is the case, but what's actually going to change in the management of the virus. Are we going to use different treatments to get the patient better if it was man made, or the same treatment that we are using right now? That's the way I always look at it, it wouldn't change any part of the management treatment no matter how it originated, so again, for me, this man made rumor falls more in the disinformation category.