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Baltimore Sun: A vaccine will help, not end coronavirus pandemic, experts in Maryland and globally say

September 24, 2020 | Meredith Cohn

By Meredith Cohn
Baltimore Sun

It may not be welcome news to the public, weary of wearing masks, keeping their distance, and participating in testing and tracing efforts, the group acknowledged. But ongoing public cooperation will be needed, said Gallo, director of Institute of Human Virology in the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine.

Gallo and other scientists said the first vaccine or two will be helpful but likely won’t be permanently and fully protective. That makes it imperative that the world’s scientists work together to develop faster and more reliable tests and powerful treatments to identify and manage the virus.

“Nothing could be more valuable” than a reliable molecular tests done cheaply at home in like two hours, Gallo said.

Those with or exposed to COVID-19 can be quarantined, reducing new targets for the virus. Almost 32 million people globally have been infected with the illness caused by the coronavirus and nearly 1 million have died, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

Drugs, new and repurposed, are needed to prevent the disease from progressing beyond early stages, though research now is largely focused on treatments for the sickest patients, the scientists said. The antiviral Remdesivir, for example, was approved for emergency used in hospitalized patients.

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