Since the first article I wrote addressing the coronavirus epidemic a couple of weeks ago (posted February 26, 2020 Coronavirus section of Health Conditions), some things have changed and some things have not. What has changed is the number of cases in the US and sadly, the number of deaths.
They have increased dramatically! That will continue to be the case for some time. There’s still a lot we just don’t know. Effectively tracking the virus and even understanding just how lethal the infection becomes virtually impossible if we cannot test for it. The failure to have an effective test widely available, not only to screen for potential infections but to get estimates on the prevalence (how common the disease is in the population) of the infection and also for conducting surveillance, seriously hampers efforts to control the infection. This represents a seriously missed opportunity.
I hope that by the time you read this that this situation has been remedied. We still need to make sure we have enough intensive care hospital beds and ventilators; we may not. We are also learning that this infection is much more serious in younger people than we once thought. It is imperative to follow the guidelines (social distancing, hand washing, staying home if sick) and check-in regularly with your Public Health agencies. If you feel sick, call your medical provider or local hospital first to get specific instructions. You do not want to be sitting around in a waiting area. There will not be an effective vaccine anytime soon (if ever) so don’t count on that. Besides preventing infections, we need some drugs that can slow the virus down. Can the treatment of HIV help us in any way?
Kaletra for COVID-19?
While there are no approved drugs to treat COVID-19 disease as of yet, it appears possible that HIV could help provide some solutions.