(CBS)- This winter the coronavirus could come back with a vengeance, that’s the warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Head Robert Redfield who told the Washington Post on Tuesday that fighting the virus could become more difficult in the winter when it dovetails with the beginning of flu season.
The World Health Organization echoed that sentiment this week, suggesting politics are also getting in the way. “Trust us. The worst is yet ahead of us,” said WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus. “Let’s prevent this tragedy. It’s a virus that many people still don’t understand.”
Scientists worldwide hope by the fall there will be a reliable therapy. There’d been early hope that the drug hydroxychloroquine would be that medicine.
President Trump even touted its effects. However, a new study of U.S. veterans infected with COVID-19 found people given hydroxychloroquine died at a higher rate. About 28% who were given the drug plus usual care died versus 11% of those getting just that routine care.
The study was not a rigorous experiment and has not been reviewed by other scientists. One of the more promising interventions is using blood plasma from recovered patients and pumping it into those who are critically ill.
It’s showing signs of the success at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center. “It’s such an exciting prospect now to have weapons to fight this with and particularly ones that can work this dramatically and this quickly,” said Dr. Jonathan Gerber, Chief of Hematology and Oncology at UMass Memorial Medical Center.
Doctors and researchers are now urging those who’ve survived coronavirus to consider signing up to donate plasma to help fight the pandemic.
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