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COVID-19: Dr. Fauci says pandemic is a scientist's 'worst nightmare'
Ever since its outbreak in China in December of 2019, the coronavirus pandemic, also known as COVID-19, millions of people around the world are infected, and millions of people have also died. However, even as affected countries are trying to keep the pandemic under control, US infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci reveals that not only is the world far from overcoming the pandemic, it is also a scientist’s “worst nightmare.”
Speaking at TB Alliance’s panel event called Fighting Pandemics: 2020 and Beyond, Dr. Fauci painted a grim picture of the world’s battle against COVID-19 and the continuous research to develop a possible cure or vaccine. Asked by Wall Street Journal’s Betsy McKay, Dr. Fauci said that the game is still not over for humanity and COVID-19. The health expert also described the pandemic as a nightmare for scientists and public health experts.
“Well, we are certainly not at the end of the game. I’m not even sure if we’re halfway through,” said the health expert. “Certainly, we’re not winning the game right now; we are not leading it. I don’t mean to be melodramatic about it, but it is really an infectious disease public health person’s...worst nightmare.”
Dr. Fauci then explained why COVID-19 is tough to beat, saying that the disease itself is made up of “very, compellingly imposing” characteristics such as the ability to transfer from animal to human, made worse by the fact that humans do not have an underlying immunity to such virus and that it is transmitted through the respiratory system.
Despite these grim realities, Dr. Fauci also offered some optimism, saying that COVID-19 will not ultimately be “our worst killer.” He also noted that with good public health measures, some kind of global herd immunity, as well as a vaccine -- when combined, the pandemic could be controlled.
Previously, scientists from Columbia University in New York may have found a possible cure for COVID-19. This is in the form of a mix of antibodies that could help doctors treat COVID-19 patients and prevent people who are at risk of contracting the disease.
These antibodies were collected from patients who suffered severe cases of the virus. These could then be manufactured at large quantities by pharmaceutical companies and transfused into the blood to prevent infection or to kill the virus.
From 40 COVID-19 patients, researchers found 61 types of from five patients that could effectively wipe out the virus. From those 61 types, nine were found to be especially potent in neutralizing the virus.