Talk of the coronavirus (also referred to as COVID-19) has been dominating public discourse for several weeks. Originating in Wuhan, China, the virus has now spread to many far corners of the earth, including the United States. Our country is now bracing for its own outbreak, the scale of which has yet to be determined.
At Radius, we would like to extend our thanks to all of the healthcare professionals that are helping manage coronavirus and all the complications that come with it. Perhaps most importantly, we would like to say thank you to the laboratory scientists and centers for disease control that continue to make leaps and bounds in identifying and containing the virus and its potential treatments, as well as educating the public about the realities of the disease.
Read on for an update on everything they are doing to help!
Lab Scientists Are Taking Quick, Preventative Measures
Six labs across the country are already set up for virus surveillance, and have been preparing for a potential coronavirus appearance for weeks. The virus is making its way across the world extremely quickly, and study of the cells have shown that they replicate at an alarming rate. This points towards potential difficulty containing the virus if not properly prepared for; even though the number of cases in the US is vastly outweighed by the total number of cases worldwide, acting fast and bracing for impact is necessary.
Edward Belongia, the director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health at the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, explains: “Activating the disease surveillance network will allow the CDC and other public health officials to find any undetected virus circulating through the country. It’s important because right now, all the efforts are focused on people who have a direct link to China, or a direct link to lab-confirmed cases.”
Their Studies Can Help Manage The Coronavirus Outbreak – and Future Ones
There are only a few laboratories across the U.S. that currently have access to samples of the virus, but they are acting fast in their study and finding potential treatment for COVID-19. The research is somewhat limited thus far, as it is a completely new disease.
However, the exciting thing about laboratory testing and research is that it can often take completely unexpected turns – “it’s the scientific work in these laboratories that may lead the way to a therapy or vaccine that could help save lives and fight this outbreak — or the next one”.
The things that these scientists unearth with their research have the potential to not only understand and treat this outbreak but influence their study and prevention of future similar viruses. The work that these lab science professionals are doing is truly commendable!
Lab Scientists Are Helping to Eradicate Misinformation
The lab science professionals that are studying the outbreak of the coronavirus are adamant in educating people about the true origins and nature of the disease. Recently, a group of scientists made a public statement published in the health and science journal The Lancet: “The rapid, open, and transparent sharing of data on this outbreak is now being threatened by rumours and misinformation around its origins… we stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories.”
Often, widespread misinformation can be an unwelcome accompaniment to a new disease outbreak – the less we know about something as a whole, the more likely it is for us to jump to potentially disastrous conclusions. Having all of the correct facts about a disease allows those affected by it – and the health professionals treating it – to take the appropriate measures.
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