The Forever Virus?

Isaias Perez Yanez, 59, is cheered by hospital staff as he is released from Sharp Coronado Hospital after battling COVID-19 for five weeks there on May 8, 2020 in Coronado, California. Image: Mario Tama/Getty
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Isaias Perez Yanez, 59, is cheered by hospital staff as he is released from Sharp Coronado Hospital after battling COVID-19 for five weeks there on May 8, 2020 in Coronado, California. Image: Mario Tama/Getty

The novel coronavirus could become endemic like HIV, the WHO warned yesterday.

It will take a “massive effort” to counter it even with a vaccine—a prospect WHO emergencies expert Mike Ryan called a “massive moonshot”, according to Reuters.

Still, doctors are encouraged by treatments that appear to limit the severity or length of the infection, Reuters reports. “We were flying blind,” Jose Pascual, a critical care doc at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, told The Washington Post, adding, “There is nothing more disturbing for me as a doctor.”

Among the new but still-imperfect tools: blood plasma treatments derived from survivors; drugs to suppress the overactive immune response; anticoagulants against deadly clots, and antivirals like remdesivir.

And researchers are learning more daily. Highlights:

  • A new study from Italy’s epicenter published yesterday in The Lancetmade the strongest connection to date that SARS-CoV-2 might cause a severe form of Kawasaki-like disease in children; they observed a 30-fold increase in cases of the syndrome after COVID-19 began spreading in Bergamo, The New York Times reports.
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