Lucas Cannavaro, United States, NPR discussed on NPR Special Coverage

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Is corona virus a weekly report from NPR news I'm Lucas Cannavaro the United States has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other country in the world and more confirmed deaths from covert nineteen but some states are already talking about re opening their economies we'll take a closer look at that story later on this hour and we'll talk about the federal government's response to this crisis first the latest in science and testing these we openings come despite there still being a great deal of concern over the testing shortage in the United States and there's another problem some new faster test may not be as reliable as hoped here's morning edition host Noel king speaking with NPR's Bob Stein tell me about this new fast testing when what's going on it's called the habit ID now cast and it's gotten a lot of attention because it's so fast it can tell someone if they're negative or positive in less than fifteen minutes you know like the quick flu or strep test resurfacing clinics and doctors offices you know president trump has bragged about this a lot and if the White House briefings and lots of people have been talking about how the attic ID now test could help life get back to normal okay but there is a problem with that what's the problem well you know it appears this test can miss more infected people than other tests Dr Gary pro cop is a top medical testing expert at the Cleveland Clinic he shared with NPR the results of what could be the biggest study so far to take a look at this he tested two hundred and thirty nine specimens with the ID now test and four other commonly used tests here's what he found the advertised in our five test comparison produce the most false negatives out of all the tasks he says back tests detected only eighty five point two percent of the positive specimens so that means if you had a hundred patients that were positive fifteen percent of those patients would be falsely called negative they be told of their negative for code when they're really positive well so fifteen percent of people could be walking around thinking that they are in the clear when in fact they're sick they're positive yes yeah that's what he's saying and you know the concern as they could spread it to other people now this test isn't the most common test out there today but fifty thousand are being produced each day and that's increasing fast so for one thing Procope says that these false negatives they could really dangerous for deciding whether it's safe for example you know can have patients come to hospitals maybe for like elective surgeries proconsuls his hospital stop using the test that way instead they're going with the three other tests that hit the mark between ninety six and a hundred percent of the time so what's happening with this test now is it being used for other things yeah you know it's being used to test doctors and nurses you know regular people who are worried they make me sick family members of sick people and this talk about using it to help decide all sorts of things like you know who safe to go back to work or get on a plane here Kerry program again from the Cleveland Clinic it is a risk that if you tell somebody they're negative and are truly positive that they will relax social distancing not wear a face mask at Sakura and could transmit the disease so that's the truth well let me ask you about abit the company that makes the test what are they saying about this you don't have it says the test is very reliable and any problems are not being caused by the test itself it could be how it's being used to that specimens are being diluted instead of going directly into the app and machines like they're supposed to but pro cop says the company needs to prove that now you know it's important note that all tests can produce false negatives any of the samples and collected the right way or at the right time just because someone tests negative one day they may get infected the next day and the habit I teach now quick test can be very useful especially when it's really important get results really fast and most of the time it is right but croak program says it's important to know that even when someone gets a negative test they may still be infected you know they can't get lulled into a false sense of security they can't let their guard down that was Noel king speaking with NPR's rob Stein so when will echo the nineteen vaccine be ready well some faxing developers are already doing testing with humans but it's probably going to be many months still experts say we need to plan now for the day a vaccine is available here's no working again she asked NPR's Joe Palca what sort of planning needs to happen well there's a lot to consider maybe we can start with manufacturing okay so let's say a vaccine sales through testing great okay we need a billion doses of it well you can't wait till the end of the testing and say all we are not what you thought of that they're thinking about it now the interesting thing is they are building capacity but companies now and people who are investing in them now our candidate may never make it so we're building this capacity and it may never be used so it's kind of an interesting conundrum yeah it really is it once we have a vaccine what will early distribution look like who gets it well I talk with the Bruce callin about that he's the head of global immunization at the Sabin vaccine institute when vaccines first available the supplies we limited the demand will be a lot more and then how do you manage that going used to be in government he says when there was a threat of a major flu pandemic they discussed how to prioritize who goes first clearly among the top where healthcare workers and people who provide community services the things that keeps society going there's the security sector whether that's international security or other military and then there's people who are part of society's critical infrastructure and as we've been learning they may not be the people who necessarily spring to mind as critical but I'm talking about people like grocery store employees and delivery truck drivers and people whose stock shelves and then you've got to think about in health terms so do you give it to people who are most vulnerable to give it to the elderly they're they're just on a whole raft of interesting issues that have to be grappled with okay so let's say we get to a day where we've got the vaccine we've gotten to the point where we can mass produce it and then it has to get to people all across the world how is that going to work yeah well you can imagine it's it's a low just tackle challenging of a enormous dimensions but it's also a financial challenge I mean this is not going to come for free and the question is okay so developed countries like the United States maybe we can spend billions of dollars but what about low resource countries well we have to figure that out and you know part of it is equity and doing the right thing and part of it is just enlightened self interest because this virus doesn't know anything about global borders and when air travel opens back up again all right you can bring a virus from anywhere in the world anywhere else in the world pretty quick and so it's important to take this as a global problem so experts are talking to you about this they're talking to each other about this are these kinds of discussions happening with governments with our government well absolutely absolutely there are NGOs are involved the international financial organizations of all governments are involved we just had a monkey wrench thrown into the works here a bit it's a little hard to say what the impact will be but a federal scientist named Richard bright who is focused on vaccine development says he was removed from his post at a key post in the vaccine development and he said in a statement that his lawyer has specifically cited pushed back he was pushing back against unproven potential treatments that president trump had repeatedly advocated for during White House briefings now you would think that in a global pandemic situation the World Health Organization might be the coordinating agency for taking care of this but this administration has shown the disdain our lack of faith in WHL that was morning edition host Noel king speaking with NPR science correspondent Joe Palca from the beginning of the pandemic scientists worldwide agree that the corona virus occurred naturally that it made its way from animals to humans like sars and murders which are also caused by coronavirus is but the trump administration has been raising the possibility that a lab accident in China could be behind the start of covert nineteen All Things Considered host Elsa Chang asked NPR's Geoff Brumfiel to explain this idea that all of this started in some lab how did that even gain traction in the first place well I mean there is what I call circumstantial evidence there's a famous lab in Wuhan that studies corona viruses from bats in bands are likely to be the source of this virus the US state department apparently raised some concern about that lab a few years ago and intelligence agencies are looking into it but here's the thing nobody at least publicly seems to have looked closely at how this work is actually done so myself and my colleague Emily kwong had been interviewing as many scientists as we can find who do this for a living and it's looking like this theory is kind of on thin ice really why is that what makes a lab accident a really unlikely very okay so the first thing to know is that there are a lot of corona viruses in bats maybe many thousands researchers think most of them don't make people sick but nevertheless scientists are very careful when they go to collect samples I spoke to John on the set UC Davis professor who leads a global project on emerging diseases and here's how she described it we wear a boot Steinbeck and ninety five masks I protection covered hands so they're all suited and booted and they swap these bats and then they immediately plunge those samples into liquid nitrogen freezing the virus so out in the field they're being super careful okay thirteen super careful out in the field but then when they go back to the lab are they still being super careful yeah they are that's a short back in the lab they actually work with a dead virus they actually inactivate the virus the killing and just study it's genetic code and even then they do that under bio containment hood wearing masks and gloves they do keep a tiny live sample but that's kept on ice it's almost never taken out of the fridge and when it is a lot of times they can't even get the virus they're looking for to grow so it doesn't work okay so I get how an accident sounds super unlikely but do we even know if the lagging behind followed these protocols that you're describing right now actually we do until all this went down that lab was working really closely with US researchers we know this is how they work now of course this doesn't completely prove there was an accident but when you put it all together the scientists I spoke to say think of it this way you've got a car wreck fifty feet from a telephone pole the fender is wrapped around the pole in your investigating whether the car was struck by lightning okay so what is the telephone pole in this scenario so that's all the other people who interact with pets I spoke to Peter gastric president of the eco health alliance a group that focuses on this kind of work and he says his team have been in caves when like a tour comes through we might do that with a hazmat suits on insurance will be filing past initials into the show which is quite bizarre and ironic thank such as tourists locals do it to a province of China there was a small survey that found nearly three percent the population at corona virus.

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