Dr. Kevin Most: What we do and do not know about novel coronavirus


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As Illinois reopens further into the next phase, Dr. Kevin Most, Chief Medical Officer at Northwestern Medicine’s Central DuPage Hospital, shared this list with John Williams of what we do know and do not know about coronavirus disease.

What we DO know:

1. The symptoms we look for have changed from difficulty breathing, cough, and fever to all those plus sore throat, loss of taste and smell, chills, muscle pain, abdominal pain, and – no symptoms at all.

2. We found that patients without symptoms could spread the illness.

3. We found that some people will get blood clots in their lungs, in their legs and it can cause strokes.

4. We found that hydroxychloroquine does not work.

5. We found it is not a completely benign illness in some children.

6. We found you can have and spread the illness two to five days before symptoms.

7. We found that having patients lie on their stomach actually helps in ventilation of their lungs.

8. We have found that some populations have higher mortality rates than others. Genetics? Unclear.

9. We found a drug made for Ebola actually shortens the duration of COVID-19 infections.

10. We found the virus can live on surfaces for varying amounts of time.

11. We found that the easiest transmission is via person to person by droplets.

12. We found that our supply chain needs to have more international/national balance.

What we DO NOT know:

1. Does having the infection give us lifelong immunity, short term immunity or any immunity?

2. We don’t know the impact a vaccine will have.

3. We don’t know if this will be coming back in full force in the fall.

4. We do not know if masks will be the new normal.

5. We do not know if handshakes will again be a sign of greeting ever again.

6. We do not know if you will ever be able to eat at a restaurant with more than six people in your party.

7. We do not know if we will ever watch in person a baseball team blow a 6-run lead.

8. We do not know if we will always be looking at the floor for visual cues on where to stand.

9. We do not know if we will ever see the facial expression of a person we meet for the first time.

10. We do not know the impact of continual use of hand sanitizer on our skin.

11. We do not know if parents will be teachers for the next year.

12. We do not know if having your temperature taken everyday at offices and restaurants will make any impact.

COVID-19 risk as determined by nonprofit Covid Act Now.

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