The international scientific community is racing to find a vaccine and a treatment for the coronavirus (COVID-19) Monday.
In Washington State, one clinical trial is taking a big step. An experimental coronavirus vaccine was administered to a human test subject in Seattle.
The fast-track research is one of dozens of projects underway around the world as scientists frantically search for a way to contain and prevent the deadly virus.
“The drugs that will be able to treat this disease are in development and look very encouraging,” Dr. David Agus said. “So the hope is that there is some very positive news there in a week or two.”
But, despite the early progress, public health officials say it will take at least a year for a potential vaccine to be approved for use.
“Our message is test, test, test,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization director-general.
Until a vaccine is developed, officials at WHO are urging widespread testing to contain the virus.
“It is important for countries to know where the virus is circulating and who it infects to know who is infected,” said Dr. Maria van Kerkhove with WHO. “By doing so, you can effectively stop transmission between people.”
After coming under fire for not having an adequate supply of coronavirus tests, the Trump administration is promising to ramp up testing efforts by the tens of thousands.
“Priority will be health care workers and elderly people with symptoms,” Vice President Mike Pence said.
While dozens of people have died in the U.S. and thousands worldwide, the vast majority of patients with mild symptoms recover in about two weeks. Those with more severe illness may take up to six weeks to recover.
The vaccine administered Monday was developed by the National Institutes of Health in record time after the new coronavirus exploded from china.
IF YOU FEEL SICK:
The Florida Department of Health has opened a 24-hour COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Questions may also be emailed to email@example.com. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.
LINK: Florida Department of Health COVID-19 updates
*The map is best viewed on a desktop computer. If you don’t see the map above tap HERE for a fullscreen version.