What do we now know about coronavirus?

Coronavirus

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Cases of coronavirus are still weeks away from peaking in the U.S.

Right now, Connecticut is the fourth most infected state per capita and it’s possible experts say most of us have likely been exposed.

“I think the safest thing from a public health standpoint is not to panic but to act as if, we should act as if we have all been exposed and can expose other people,” says Dr. Jaimie Meyer, who is an infectious disease specialist with Yale Medicine.

She explains, “Studies are showing that when we look for the virus itself in people’s secretions and their mucous membranes, that we do find levels of the virus even in people who don’t have symptoms. Now how contagious those people are, we don’t quite understand yet.”

That’s why maintaining social distance, staying home, washing hands and disinfecting high touch areas are critical.

The latest data has the CDC and WHO reconsidering guidelines to allow the use of masks among seemingly healthy people. But doctors worry that could create a false sense of security.

Dr. Meyer says, “The best evidence is for mask – in addition to all of our social distancing, hand washing, don’t touch your face, home quarantine – all of those other things.”

And caring for COVID-19 patients, changing daily with experimental treatments as doctors get a deeper understanding of what works and what does not.

“Of the patients who are in our system right now,” says Dr. Meyer. “We find a lot of them especially as they become sicker are responding to what are called immuno-modulators or treatments that are actually changing people’s immune systems.”

High dose steroids are also on the list.

Dr. Meyer says, “There was some data initially out of China that people who got steroids did worse and we’re actually finding in the midst of this immune response that people with high dose steroids might be doing better.”

Yale New Haven Health also has a number of experimental COVID treatment clinical trials underway. And along with Hartford Health Care, is considering taking part in a national study using donated blood-plasma from recovered patients to help treat people with severe symptoms.

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