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Testing, Treatment, And The Latest On A Vaccine To Prevent COVID-19 From A U-M Epidemiologist

Aug 7, 2020

Vaccine Testing

There are still many questions and concerns about treatment and prevention of COVID-19 as the virus continues to impact many facets of our lives.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with University of Michigan associate professor of epidemiology from the School of Public Health Emily Toth Martin about the latest on COVID-19 testing, possible new treatments, and a vaccine to prevent it from infecting someone.  


University of Michigan associate professor of epidemiology Dr. Emily Toth Martin
Credit University of Michigan School of Public Health / sph.umich.edu

Emily Toth Martin says there is a lot of focus on meeting capacity for COVID-19 testing at this point.  She says they're seeing a lot of great work along these lines and making it to the FDA for review.  But she says the need for testing is still outpacing availability, and test turnaround time is getting longer and longer.  She says, even if more testing is being done, sometimes those samples end up being sent across the country for analysis, and that is what is adding to the slowdown in getting results.  She says we will likely see quicker test result situations in a doctor's office or clinic before at-home COVID-19 testing is readily available.  She says there has never been an at-home test for a respiratory virus available before.

She says recent data shows that people are out and moving around in the community more than they were a few months ago, and what concerns her most about this is that it will make the coming fall and winter more challenging as the seasonal viruses we already know about need to be dealt with along with COVID-19.  She says, while work on a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 progresses, there is also work being done on an antiviral treatment which could help curb the spread. 

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu