Latest developments in the fight against COVID-19

Infectious diseases doctor Todd Ellerin discussed the latest updates and search for a coronavirus vaccine.
3:08 | 05/23/20

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Transcript for Latest developments in the fight against COVID-19
The latest developments on the fight against covid-19. Joining us this morning, Dr. Todd ellerin, an ABC news medical contributor and infectious disease physician. Thanks so much for being with us. Let's start with this study published Friday in "The lancet." It looked at patients and then treated them with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine. Talk to us about what the study found. Good morning, Eva. So basically large study published by "The lancet," 96,000 patients with covid-19 either received hydroxychloroquine alone or that along with the zithromyacin and what they showed there was a significant increase in death in both groups. In the hydroxychloroquine group, 34% increase in death. In that when you added in zithromyacin, a 45% increase in death. Okay, and even a higher risk of cardiac arrhythmias so we weren't sure before whether this didn't have benefit but now this combination or individual medication may be harmful in patients with covid-19. Now, two points. One is patients that are already on this like hydroxychloroquine for other reasons, we really have to prevent them from getting this illness and then there are randomized controlled trials going on with hydroxychloroquine. So the data safety monitoring boards really have to look closely to make sure there's no increase in harm. Still a lot we have to learn there. We've seen kids get really sick with covid and this multisystem inflammatory syndrome, but there seems to be some success with the way doctors are treating it. What's the latest there? Yeah, the CDC just published some encouraging data looking at 33 kids with this mysterious syndrome giving all of them ivig, which is basically antibodies from healthy donors and there was zero mortality. No deaths in the study. Now, 30% of them got an additional dose of this ivig and 70% got steroids. So it looks like when we're quieting the immune system, these kids are doing really well. That's some positive news to hear this morning. And some dentist offices are re-opening across the country. What changes will we be seeing to keep dentists, hygienists and patients safe? So, Eva, we don't need another reason to not go to the dentist, but we want to be able to do this safely, so I think a few things are important. Number one, we have to keep those waiting rooms not populated with patients. So wait in your car first. It would be nice to be screened to make sure you don't have a flu-like illness. Once you're in the room, you want to make sure the patients are wearing masks. Of course, the dentists and their team should be wearing masks and shields, and then the question is, remember, with dentists and their equipment, they use aerosol generating equipment like these scalers, these ultrasonic scalers that can give a pressurized mist. You really want to try to avoid those if possible, and maybe use the old-fashioned picks to get the tartar off. Yeah, some changes happening everywhere we go these days. Dr. Todd ellerin, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

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