What we know now: Updates from an expert on coronaviruses
What we know about COVID-19 seemingly changes by the hour. Since the novel coronavirus emerged in China in December and quickly became a worldwide threat, scientists and health care workers have been learning everything they can about this new virus in order to better understand how to treat infected patients and to help prevent further spread of the virus.
Dr. Rachel Roper, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine, was part of the team that originally isolated and sequenced the SARS coronavirus genome and headed vaccine trials after the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s. In her most recent interview on the Talk Like a Pirate podcast, she discusses how scientists’ collective understanding about the coronavirus has evolved since it emerged in China, the timeline for a vaccine and how to protect yourself from the virus.
“I am really happy to see the curve going down, and I am feeling somewhat relieved about it,” Roper said. “The problem is as soon as we go back out again, the virus is still out there and that curve’s going to go right back up unless we totally block transmission.”
Because COVID-19 is still relatively new, there is still a lot that experts do not know about it, and it’s possible that some of the information contained in the podcast may change in the coming weeks and months as we continue to learn more.