Dr. MarkAlain Dery led the Pacifica Round-Table discussion for the month of March. An infectious disease physician, Dr. Dery is the Chief Innovation Officer for Access Health of Louisiana. In 2009, he founded WHIV radio in New Orleans.
How COVID-19 Compares to Other Viruses
In his presentation, Dr. Dery noted that COVID-19 is like the influenza virus of 1918 in that it’s highly transmissible while having a low mortality rate. Additionally, he emphasized two distinctions of COVID-19. First, this virus allows for its host to transmit the virus asymptomatically before, during, and after the life of the virus. Second, unlike other viruses associated with the common cold, COVID-19 is not a virus that humans are acclimated to-and we are not immune.
The U.S. Can Still Slow the Disease
Dr. Dery compared the trajectory of countries that have slowed the spread of COVID-19 with countries that are still watching infections rise. “Implementing widespread public health intervention can drastically reduce the number of new infections and deaths,” he said. Dery recommends hand washing and social distancing to slow the spread of disease. He said this will keep our health system from getting overwhelmed during the epidemic.
See below for the full Round-Table discussion led by Dr. MarkAlain Dery.