The Novel Coronavirus has killed over 3,000 people worldwide, the vast majority in China, and infected more than 88,000 people in the world. While scientists mentioned that this outbreak reminds us of our vulnerability to emerging and unexpected infection disease thereat, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has failed to release crucial information about COVID-19 which could help save the lives of Americans diagnosed with the new Coronavirus.
As per the reports, the federal agency, CDC which communicates with physicians about how to handle outbreaks, has shared detailed clinical information about only one patient, while they have records of several US patients who have recovered from Coronavirus. It should be mentioned that the information includes what treatments the patients received and how they proceeded with it.
What the CDC had done?
It should be mentioned that whether it is a measles outbreak, SARS or Ebola, CDC uses information gathered from all around the world, mainly from US, and then advise the doctors and medical team on what should be the process of the treatment. But recent reports revealed that in the case of COVID -19, CDC has not released the details with the doctors who are now treating Novel Coronavirus patients.
Dr Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University told CNN that "It's a medical truism that it's absolutely essential that physicians with experience with a particular condition disseminate information to others," and added that not sharing such valuable information is very "inexplicable and inappropriate."
CDC's advice to doctors
The federal agency has shared some guidelines on its website for the doctors who are currently treating COVID-19n patients in US, but this advice relies almost entirely on papers published by researchers in China. Even though such research papers are important to solve any complex situation, for doctors it will be useful to know details about what happened with the Coronavirus patients in US.
It should be mentioned that health officials in three American states have said that they shared detailed clinical information about their patients with the CDC, but the agency has not yet released it. As reports by CNN, Dr Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health mentioned that they submitted a paper describing the two Coronavirus cases to a medical journal two weeks ago which was coauthored by CDC, state and local health department officials. As per Arwady, the study paper is currently under the review which they are expecting to be published soon.
Fighting with Coronavirus
While CDC's move is delaying the correct treatment process for Coronavirus patients, the reports revealed that in Scotland patients with flu-like symptoms are currently getting tested by health official as part of measures to combat COVID-19. BBC reported that a surveillance network of 41 GP practices will submit samples collected from the patients, even if they have not travelled to an area affected by Novel Coronavirus.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood said that the country is well-prepared well-prepared for an outbreak of new Coronavirus but there is currently no treatment or vaccine available. She also added that "Early detection measures will be vital in helping to prevent the spread of the virus in the event of an outbreak. Hospitals and GP surgeries will now conduct tests on some patients with coughs, fevers or shortness of breath - regardless of whether they have travelled to a place where the virus is known to be spreading."
Meanwhile, in South Korea, President Moon Jae-in on Sunday, March 1 put the country on the highest possible alert in its fight against the Novel Coronavirus. This move empowered the South Korean government to lock down cities and take other sweeping measures to contain the outbreak.
Many cases of Coronavirus infection was reported in the southeastern city of Daegu, which has essentially been placed under a state of emergency. It should be mentioned that over half of the South Korean people confirmed as COVID-19 patients are either members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, which is a secretive religious sect with a strong presence in Daegu, or their relatives or other contacts.