We interviewed 7 doctors and scientists about Covid 19. Here’s what they said.

By: KS Anthony | Be the First to Comment

Over the last few months, we’ve witnessed the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (henceforth referred to as COVID-19, the respiratory disease that it causes) pandemic wreak havoc across global infrastructures, overwhelming hospitals, sickening thousands, and staggering economies. In America, two key concerns have become paramount as the gravity of this situation has become undeniable: the nature of the coronavirus itself and the economic impact wrought by the measures undertaken to control or mitigate the damage it causes. Both concerns have become clouded by conflicting views, sensationalized media coverage, insipid speculation, outright quackery and disinformation, and self-serving partisan biases that further reveal the ever-deepening political chasm that divides this country.

For the last three weeks, we at SumZero have been reaching out to scientists, doctors, and researchers from all over the world in an effort to separate facts from fiction. We were fortunate – and grateful – to get responses from biologists, immunologists, general practitioners, and others who are confronting COVID-19 on the frontlines of medicine both stateside and abroad. We were also fortunate to be invited to a video conference call with Dr. Ofer Levy (MD, PhD), a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Precision Vaccines Program, whose presentation helped tie all of this information together. Because of the sheer volume of information that we received we’ve edited some of these answers for length and clarity, taking great care to not unnecessarily alter the language and preserve their informational integrity. Moreover, when these clinicians were in agreement, we chose the most detailed answers for inclusion rather than present all individual answers.

In reviewing these answers, we ask that you remember that this is a novel coronavirus that, until late last year, had never been seen in humans. Because research is ongoing, with hundreds of new articles being published every day, these answers can, at best, only reflect medical and scientific understanding of the virus as of the last three weeks or so. We advise you to keep yourselves informed with updated information directly from the CDC and World Health Organization.

Professional summaries for each of our correspondents appear at the end of this article.

How is COVID-19 different from other coronaviruses?

“The majority of coronaviruses cause the common cold in adults and children and are not a serious threat. However, more virulent forms of coronavirus, such as COVID-19, do exist and differ from other coronaviruses because of higher infectivity rates and potentially lethal sequelae including pneumonia and multi-organ failure. Other virulent forms of coronavirus include SARS-COV (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS-COV (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome).”
– Dr. Paul Endres (MD, FCAP, FASCP), Clinical Pathologist

“COVID-19 is the disease caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is very closely related to the coronavirus that caused the SARS outbreak in China and other areas in 2003-04. The MERS coronavirus is also closely related. There are several other coronaviruses that infect humans and cause a common cold with mild respiratory symptoms. The more common coronaviruses do not typically lead to severe symptoms in most people.”
– Dr. Tanvi S. Sharma (MD, MPH), Clinical Director/Associate Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Boston Children’s Hospital

“The genomic sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 is related to the SARS pathogen (96 percent identical) and to a coronavirus identified in horseshoe bats in Yunnan. It is estimated that there are as many as 5,000 coronavirus strains waiting to be discovered in bats globally.”
– Dr. Giuseppe Novelli, Full Professor of Medical Genetics of the University of Rome Tor Vergata

“SARS-CoV-2 is certainly different from other coronaviruses, that mostly cause mild respiratory infections like the common cold.”

“We don’t fully understand the reasons why this coronavirus is different, although we know this is the first incidence of transmission of this specific virus to humans, probably coming from bats. At the epidemiological level, this virus is spreading much faster across the globe than other of its family members. At the genetic levels, there are sequence variations in genes predicted to be important for infections of human cells, especially in the lungs (Hoffmann et al. Cell 2020). Individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 may be infectious for some time before showing COVID-19 symptoms (which are also mild in the initial phase), therefore complicating contagion control across communities. At the physiological level, COVID-19 leads with relatively high-frequency to severe pneumonia. Patients with severe pneumonia require artificial ventilation for survival, and often need to be treated in Intensive Care Units. Several of them may even necessitate extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) if their lung function is extensively compromised.”
– Dr. Simona Giunta (Ph.D), Senior Cancer Research Scientist at The Rockefeller University and Dr. Francesco Cambuli (Ph.D), Postdoctoral Fellow in cancer research at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, founders of KnowScience.org.

“Most coronaviruses cause only mild respiratory symptoms. In contrast, the SARS and MERS coronavirus caused an acute respiratory distress syndrome and had high mortality rates. Similarly, SARS-CoV2 can cause acute respiratory distress and involve other organs as well, explaining the high needs for ventilators and ICU level care. While the mortality rate from SARS-CoV2 has been lower than that of SARS, it has demonstrated higher rates of infectivity and spread for yet to be determined reasons. The genomes of SARS-CoV2 and other coronaviruses are very similar. For example, SARS and SARS-CoV2 differ by only 380 amino acids, and use the same entry receptor. Our understanding of how these differences contribute to differences in infectivity and patient outcome remains limited.”
– Dr. Varun Narendra (MD, PhD), Hematology-oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

How likely is it to contract coronavirus from someone who is asymptomatic?

“It is less likely to acquire coronavirus from someone who does not have any symptoms compared to someone who does have symptoms since coronaviruses are most commonly transmitted by people after they cough or blow their nose and then touch surfaces with contaminated hands. However, we are still learning more about children who do not have any symptoms and how they might still be able to transmit the virus. Children can become infected and shed the virus in their nose or mouth without having a runny nose, cough, or fever, but then contaminate surfaces by frequently touching their face and then touching many different surfaces in their environment. Therefore, like with other respiratory viruses, children could be a significant source of widespread transmission of this virus.”
– Dr. Tanvi S. Sharma

“Thus far, there is data from cruise ship spread that again doesn’t answer this question directly. In 2/2020, a Japanese study screened nearly all the population including staff aboard the quarantined princess cruise ship. 17% of the individuals tested positive. Of these ~ 600 positive cases, 50% were asymptomatic. We do not know if this spread was (caused by) an asymptomatic person to another asymptomatic person, or a symptomatic individual to an asymptomatic.”
– Dr. Sanjay Sharma

The virus is airborne but how easy is it to contract through proximity? We've heard about the 6 foot rule. Could someone contract it just by breathing the same air as an infected person?

“Actually, the virus only has limited airborne transmission, and is primarily transmitted by droplets that contain virus particles and have been aerosolized or droplets that have landed on surfaces and people then touch those surfaces. “Airborne” transmission of a virus means that the virus particles are small enough to be suspended in air for long periods of time. This is the mechanism of transmission of measles, for example – the virus can remain suspended in the air for hours, so if someone enters a room where someone with measles had been hours ago, they could become infected with the virus just from breathing the air in that room. The COVID-19, on the contrary, is primarily spread by “Droplet” and “Contact” transmission. The virus particles are heavier than the measles virus particles, so if someone with the virus coughs into the air, the virus may remain in the air for a very brief period of time but will soon drop from the air and land on the various surfaces around us. If someone comes in contact with those surfaces and then touches their mouth/eyes/nose, they can become infected through that contact. Other ways in which transmission can occur is if someone coughs into their hand and then touches surfaces (elevator buttons, stair railings), the virus survives on those surfaces for long periods of time during which others can become infected by touching those same surfaces. If there is close contact with someone who is coughing or sneezing – generally within 3 feet, but potentially a little more, then the virus could be transmitted through the air to another person in that short distance before those droplets fall to the ground. With the COVID-19 virus, we have also learned that there are significant virus particles shed in stool, which means that transmission can occur if people don’t wash their hands well after going to the bathroom, or after changing diapers for infants. Understanding these mechanisms of how the virus is spread helps people to understand the public health measures that have been implemented, such as emphasis on handwashing and hand sanitizers, widespread disinfecting of surfaces, and social distancing.”
– Dr. Tanvi Sharma

“The virus is transmitted by three main mechanisms. (i) Droplet transmission from a symptomatic patient to a recipient. I.e. a person with SARS-CoV-2 coughs or sneezes, and the virus is released within liquid droplets that can land on a mucosal surface of the recipient. These droplets typically travel on the range of a few feet, depending on the size and weight of the droplet. (2) The virus can be aerosolized and remain suspended in air for longer periods of time, but typically this occurs only in limited circumstances (i.e. during procedures such as intubation). For this reason, we try as best as we can to limit hospital procedures that can aerosolize the virus. (3) the virus can live on surfaces on the order of a few days and be transmitted by shared direct physical contact with these surfaces. Mechanism (3) is the likely the main mechanism of transmission from an asymptomatic carrier.”
– Dr. Varun Narendra

How long does the virus stay alive on inorganic surfaces?

“Coronaviruses can survive for hours to days on various surfaces, the duration of survival depends on the material. The virus can survive longer on surfaces that are at lower temperatures. Alcohol or bleach-based disinfectants can inactivate the virus in less than a minute.”
– Dr. Tanvi Sharma

“A study by the Journal of Hospital Infection found that other strains of coronavirus have the potential to remain on metal, glass and plastic surfaces for two hours to nine days. But it is dependent on the environment.”
– Dr. Giuseppe Novelli

“COVID-19 is capable of surviving on plastic and metal fixtures and fomites for hours to days.”
– Dr. Paul Endres

“Studies have shown that the virus remains viable on the surface on the order of 48-72hrs, depending on the surface (i.e. it seems to last a bit longer on plastics). This is similar to the SARS virus, and thus does not explain the higher infectivity of SARS-CoV-2.”
– Dr. Varun Narendra

*Editor’s Note: according to a March 23, 2020 press release from the Center for Disease Control, “SARS-CoV-2 RNA was identified on a variety of surfaces in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers up to 17 days after cabins were vacated on the Diamond Princess but before disinfection procedures had been conducted (Takuya Yamagishi, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, personal communication, 2020).”

What is the connection between climate temperature and coronavirus? Is this virus seasonal?

“It is uncertain if this virus will follow the flu season and subside with spring’s arrival. Many scientists say it’s too soon to know how the virus will behave in warmer weather.

Some people think the seasonal changes of the flu could be due to more people in close contact in colder months and there is then more person to person transmission. High temperature and high humidity slow influenza. Warmer air holds more moisture and airborne viruses cannot travel as well.

Scientists just don’t know how COVID-19 will act but if it is anything like SARS, it ran from Nov to July but the containment might have been from early intervention. There is not much seasonality to MERS which still occasionally shows up.”
– Dr. Lynn Dever (MD, FAAP), Pediatrician

“We don’t yet know whether the COVID-19 virus is seasonal since it was just identified in December 2019. However, given what we know about other coronaviruses and the survival of the virus at various temperatures, we suspect that it likely will be common to see this virus during colder months.”
– Dr. Tanvi Sharma

“Flu-viruses display seasonal cycles of infection, which appear to slow down when the outdoor temperature is high (e.g, winter vs summer). Too little data is available on SARS-CoV-2, as the initial spreading only started in December. However, the virus seems to be sensitive to temperatures above 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3° C -- Editor) so it is possible that significant warm up in air temperature may hinder viral propagation.”
– Dr. Simona Giunta and Dr. Francesco Cambuli

“It is not yet clear, however it can be considered a seasonal virus and therefore sensitive to a temperature above 20-25° C. (68° - 77° F -- Editor). In fact, it is not widespread at certain latitudes.”
– Dr. Giuseppe Novelli

Will gargling with hot water etc. aid in eliminating the virus? If not, what, if anything, will?

“Gargling is unlikely to help due to the large amount of virus that is transferred from patient to patient. In addition, it would not clear the nose. Plus, the temperature needed to kill most viruses is too high for gargling.”
– Dr. Lynn Dever

“It’s highly unlikely that gargling hot water will help. The main reason being that the virus appears to attack the lung alveoli (deep lung branches), not the lung airways. The most effective way to kill the virus is before it enters the body, through washing with soap, or disinfection (alcohol solutions above 70% v/v or disinfectant based on diluted bleach, e.g., Clorox). This is because the virus is surrounded by a lipid layer.”
– Dr. Simona Giunta and Dr. Francesco Cambuli

“Since many viruses and bacteria cannot survive well at higher temperatures, a natural way that our immune system responds to these bugs is by raising body temperature and developing a fever. In this way, not only is fever a sign of an infection, but it can actually be a good thing that will help to kill the organism. Because the virus replicates and can be found throughout different areas of our body, just gargling with hot water will not eliminate the virus. It may kill some of the virus that is sitting in our mouth and throat but will not effectively clear the virus that is in other areas of our body. Our immune system is the most effective way to eliminate infection with this virus, and that’s why we worry most about older people whose immune systems work less effectively and patients on immunosuppressive medications or medical conditions that compromise their immune systems.”
– Dr. Tanvi Sharma

Where do we stand on vaccines and/or a cure?

“Governmental agencies and private companies stateside and abroad are fervently working on developing vaccines and medicines. Clinical trials mandated by governmental agencies will delay the release of a vaccine until it is determined to be safe for public use. It has been suggested that China may have a vaccine available by the end of April, however, it may not meet the standards of other countries.”
– Dr. Paul Endres

“Vaccines and antiviral therapies take a long time to develop. For vaccine development, we first need to understand what part of the immune system is most effective in controlling the infection, and then figure out how to most effectively get the immune system to respond to the vaccine in the same way it would respond and fight if someone is exposed to the actual virus. One part of the process is to also ensure that the immune response that it is stimulated by the vaccine is controlled. People develop symptoms such as fever from becoming infected with the virus itself, but vaccines need to allow there to be a good immune response without the development of all of the symptoms associated with having natural infection. Therefore, vaccines need to undergo rigorous testing for both safety and efficacy. In order to determine whether a vaccine is safe and efficacious, we need to monitor people for a period of time after receiving a vaccine since side effects may not develop immediately and it may take time for the immune system to respond to the vaccine. For these reasons, developing and testing a vaccine typically takes months to years. Similarly, antiviral therapies to treat the infection take time to identify and develop. There first needs to be identification of compounds that can actually kill the virus but without hurting human cells. And then there needs to be rigorous assessment of safety followed by determination of effective doses of a medication. As with vaccine development, side effects of antiviral medications need to be monitored over time as part of clinical trials.”
– Dr. Tanvi Sharma

“At present, there is no specific treatment for SARS-CoV-2. Several hospitals are experimenting whether drugs initially developed for other infections can be beneficial. Among those, there is Remdesivir, an experimental drug (nucleotide analog) developed by Gilead and initially tested in the context of Ebola and MERS treatments. Lopinavir/ritonavir (Abbvie) is a protease inhibitor currently commercialized for HIV/AIDS treatment. Chloroquine has been reported to inhibit replication of the virus. Chloroquine interferes with the lysosomal function (potentially required for the virus life cycle), and is a well-known anti-malarial drug.

Tocilizumab is an immunosuppressive drug, mainly for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, a severe form of arthritis in children. It is a humanized monoclonal antibody against the interleukin-6 receptor (IL-6R). In the context of COVID-19 disease and severe pneumonia, it’s primarily used to stop the Cytokine Release Syndrome in the most severe cases. This is a systemic inflammatory response, potentially leading to extensive damage to multiple organs (in other words, immune cells become overactive to the point of flooding the body with cytokines with consequential massive cell death).”
– Dr. Simona Giunta and Dr. Francesco Cambuli

“Though there is certainly hope for a vaccine, this likely remains at least a few months away. The goal is to identify epitopes unique to the virus that can generate an effective adaptive immune response in a human that can be accessed at the time of any future exposure. There are already many possible vaccines in design or even in clinical trial. However, formal assessment of their safety and efficacy will take at minimum a few months. If this turns out to be a seasonal virus, we can hope that a vaccine will be developed before the next wave. Another potentially preventative approach is the use of convalescent serum. This involves purifying antibodies from an individual who has recovered from the virus, and transferring them to another person who is either susceptible to the virus (prophylaxis) or already infected (treatment). This approach being actively pursued as well as a preventative measure. Lastly, there are a number of antiviral agents that are under clinical trial currently which have been shown to inhibit viral growth in vitro (i.e. in the test tube). These include drugs like remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine, It remains to be proven as to whether treatment with these drugs translates into any improvement in clinical outcome in patients. These trials are ongoing and we should have the results relatively soon.”
– Dr. Varun Narendra

Among the leading pharma companies, who has the best shot of developing either a vaccine and/or cure?

“Pharmaceutical companies need to decide first whether this is a priority for them they want to work on and then do the initial research to figure out what immune system targets (for vaccines) or antiviral compounds (for antiviral therapies) seem most promising. There is a prolonged research and development phase requiring in vitro testing, followed by animal testing, and subsequently Phase 1 and Phase 2 human trials. If there are existing vaccine candidates and antiviral therapies that have been potentially effective in previous epidemics/pandemics with similar viruses (e.g. during the 2003-4 SARS outbreak) these often serve as a starting point for further testing in new epidemics. A new antiviral that has been tested in patients with Ebola virus is demonstrating some promise for COVID-19 as well.”
– Dr. Tanvi Sharma

“There are a plethora of companies working on the development of a vaccine, including Vaxart, Altimmune, Moderna, Clover, and Algernon.”
– Dr. Paul Endres

“Some reports in mice suggest that blocking antibodies may be among the first therapeutics to be experimented (Walls et al., Cell 2020) and potentially become available. Patients sera may be also used but it is extremely risky and may sensitize patients to future viral infections.

The timeline for a vaccine, to be able to fulfill strict validations and safety requirements, is about 1 year.”
– Dr. Simona Giunta and Dr. Francesco Cambuli

*Editor’s Note: On March 25th, 2020, BioSig Technologies (US: BGSM) announced that its subsidiary Neuroclear Technologies had acquired the rights to develop Vicromax, a broad-spectrum anti-viral compound that has shown strong activity against COVID-19 in lab tests. The company notes that Vicromax has already undergone Phase I and II testing for other indications and has been studied extensively in human subjects. “Stopping the COVID-19 pandemic and preventing similar viral threats in the future must be the number-one priority of all of us in the healthcare community," said Kenneth L. Londoner, Chairman and CEO of BioSig Technologies, Inc. in a press release. "This very promising anti-viral is the result of tireless efforts by an accomplished group of pharmaceutical industry veterans, and we are doing everything in our power to ensure it gets tested and brought to market as soon as possible.”

Does previous infection with the virus grant immunity to future infection?
“Infection with COVID-19 will indeed elicit an immune response within the host. However, genetic shifts and drifts within the virus can potentially result in mutated strains that a previously infected individual may not be immune to.”
– Dr. Paul Endres

“So far, we do not know if people who were infected and recovered would be immune to the virus if they were exposed again. We know that with other coronaviruses, people are protected against getting infection again with the same strain, and there is likely some cross protection if a person is exposed to another similar strain. But we don’t yet know any of this information for the novel coronavirus.”
– Dr. Tanvi Sharma

What is your best prediction on when things get back to normal and what factors influence that timeline?

“Although I do believe the worst is yet to come in the U.S., I predict that seasonal climate change and continued widespread efforts to limit contagion will impact the longevity of the virus. Optimistically, we may expect to see things largely back to normal by early summer. There is, however, the possibility that it will continue on until an effective vaccine is developed.”
– Dr. Paul Endres

“I am afraid that this is not going away anytime soon. Maybe 6-12 months or until a vaccine becomes available. But I do believe we can halt the number of deaths if we continue to self quarantine and use very good hand washing, etc.”
– Dr. Lynn Dever

“A lot of different factors influence this. If the virus demonstrates seasonality with more circulation in colder months, we could see this tapering off as we approach spring and summer. If people effectively adhere to the public health measures that have been put in place that would dramatically reduce spread and will help things get back to normal more quickly. The challenge is whether individual people, but also larger governing bodies are willing to implement those measures consistently. If there is disjointed implementation of these efforts, there will be ongoing spread and we may see disruption in our daily activities for a prolonged period. Another challenge is that of the downstream effects of the pandemic, where a return to normalcy is hard to predict – economic effects globally as well as locally (e.g. for small business owners), effect on students being out of school and socially isolated, effects on the healthcare system with other non-COVID-19 efforts on hold, etc.”
– Dr. Tanvi Sharma

Research is the antidote for COVID-19! we must invest in research to avoid new epidemics in the future. Because there will be viruses for a few billion years and they will continue to exist and change by transferring from animals to humans (which we must not forget is an animal!).

“Many researchers say that the only way to prevent the spread of new viruses is prevention. "70% of emerging infectious diseases transmitted by animals come from wild creatures.

We need to increase basic research on viral strains found in mammals prone to coronavirus infections, such as bats, rodents, badgers, civet cats, pangolins and non-human primates.

Activate verification and control actions in developing countries especially in the tropics, where the diversity of wildlife is greater, and therefore zoonosis is easier.”
– Dr. Giuseppe Novelli

Because Dr. Novelli is in Italy, we asked him what life is like there.

How has the mass quarantining affected day to day life?

“A lot, it is changing our life, relationships, society, economy. But we will do it. The Italians are positive and adapt easily overcoming difficulties quickly.”

What is the general sentiment in the Italian populace as far as you can ascertain?

“A new feeling, not yet tried, leaves us perplexed, with a sense of anguish but hopeful for the future.

Professional Biographies:

Dr. Francesco Cambuli is a postdoctoral research scientist at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center where he investigates stem cells, organoids and cancer.

Dr. Lynn Dever is an experienced Pediatrician with 30 years experience in private practice in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She specializes in Integrative Medicine and Fitness / Nutrition. She can be found on Twitter as @drlynndever.

Dr. Paul Endres is a New York State Department of Health-certified Medical Laboratory Director who holds Certificates of Qualification in Virology, Bacteriology, Mycology, Mycobacteriology, Parasitology, Diagnostic Immunology, Immunohematology, Andrology, Blood pH and Gases, Clinical Chemistry, Clinical Toxicology, Cytopathology, Endocrinology, Fetal Defect Markers, Hematology, Histopathology, Oncology, Soluble Tumor Markers, Therapeutic Substance Monitoring, Quantitative Toxicology, and Transfusion Services. He is double board-certified by the American Board of Pathology in Clinical Pathology and Anatomic Pathology. Dr. Endres completed fellowship training in Surgical Pathology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. He completed medical school and an Anatomic and Clinical Pathology residency at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York. Prior to entering the specialty of Pathology, Dr. Endres completed a Family Medicine residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University in New York City. He is the former Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center, and is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor of Pathology at a major academic medical center and medical school in New York City and a Medical Laboratory Director at a major biomedical company. Dr. Endres’s consultation practice includes the pathology and causation of infectious, neoplastic, non-neoplastic, autoimmune, degenerative, and inflammatory diseases and conditions.

Dr. Simona Giunta (Ph.D. Cancer Research, University of Cambridge 2011) is a senior Cancer Research Associate at the Rockefeller University in New York, where she leads projects on DNA and chromosome technologies to study cancer development.

Dr. Varun Narendra is a hematology-oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He earned an A.B. in Mathematics at Harvard and an M.S. in Mathematics at NYU’s Courant Institute before earning a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology and an MD from NYU, doing his residency at Columbia University. A selection of his published research articles can be found here.

Dr. Giuseppe Novelli is a Full Professor of Medical Genetics, University of Rome Tor Vergata; and Rector of the University of Rome Tor Vergata.

Dr. Sanjay Sharma is an Oncologist at St. Jude Heritage Medical Group in Fullerton, California. His professional background includes epidemiology work for the Wisconsin Bureau of Public Health where he served as the Waterborne and Flood-Related Disease Surveillance Coordinator tracking outbreaks of disease caused by waterborne pathogens.

Dr. Tanvi S. Sharma is Clinical Director/Associate Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases; Associate Physician in Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases; Director, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program; Co-Director of Infectious Diseases, Pediatric Transplant Center; Co-Director, Immunocompromised Host Service at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is also an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Simona Giunta and Dr. Francesco Cambuli add the following disclaimer:

We are not virologists, epidemiologists, or medical doctors so do not have nor claim to have any particular expertise on these subjects. We are molecular biologists and are simply synthesizing information that we have obtained from public sources and analyzing it to help the Community get some scientifically-informed perspective on what's going on. These answers do not in any way constitute a form of medical advice. People in need should contact their doctor or medical emergency services.


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