Transcript for More answers to your COVID-19 questions
We're joined again by Dr. Jen Ashton with answers to so many of your questions about coronavirus. Dr. Jen, thanks for being here. I'll start with the first question, is it worthwhile to wear a face shield as well as a mask if you're traveling on a plane or on public transportation? Short answer is, there's no official guidelines on this. We talked about a recent review article that was published in the lancet, a possible reduction of risk of becoming sick with covid-19 for people who wore some sort of eye protection. Glasses, goggles or face shield. So people have to make this decision on their own about their comfort level, their discomfort level, their comfort with risk, and obviously, what's the endpoint? We can't completely wrap ourselves in a plastic bubble every time we go out. I do expect there to be evolving published data on this. But not yet. I'm interested in your answer on the next one. Do we know how many different strains of the virus there are? This is really interesting in the world of virology and it's oftentimes miscommunicated in media headlines. Here's the deep dive, all viruses undergo mutation, rna viruses, like this strain of coronavirus are proned to mutations. When check the genetic fingerprint we see subtle changes. The key which people actually discuss when they see this headline, does the mutation actually change the function of the virus? Right now, there's no evidence of that, but people are following it and they're also following it to see it as a tracking mechanism what strain is coming from where. It's very important to understand that the mutations unless they find the function, they can change that function to make the virus stronger or weaker or the same. So, there's a lot here that needs to be unpacked. Right now, they're in the collecting data stage. Next question, are the average increase in cases in the U.S. Comparable to other counties? First of all, it's hard to compare apples to apples. Because we have to remember, as we're looking at other countries, Brazil, Russia, India, who are seeing huge skyrockets in their cases, when we look at those cases, remember, is that a country that has comparable lab tracking ability to the United States? A lot of these countries don't. They don't have the capacity to report lab data and confirmed cases in real time, they don't have the capacity to test people similarly to the U.S. Right now, you can't make that head-to-head comparison, you can just look at other parts of the world and know that we're not the only country struggling. Next question, have we learned any new info about the pediatric multisyndrome inflammatory disease? We do know overall, the risk to the pediatric population of this inflammatory syndrome is low. The awareness of the pediatricians and the CDC to track cases is definitely up. Everyone is on the lookout for this. And again, it's still not clear whether this is directly or causally related to covid-19. So still in the collecting data stage. All right, Dr. Jen, thank you so much. You can submit questions to Dr. Jen on her Instagram at @drjashton.
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