Coronavirus: What's still not known about COVID-19
the spike in kovat 19 cases has prompted more questions for doctors on how the virus spreads now for more on why doctors are finding the fight against covin 19 so challenging we're joined now by dr. John Connelly he's an infectious disease specialist who attended the World Health Organization meetings in Geneva dr. Conley joins us now from Calgary sir thank you for making time for us let's begin with your assessment from those meetings at the World Health Organization
whatare the most critical factors in fighting kovat 19 the meeting developed eight immediate actions from looking at items to provide rapid diagnostic tests to looking at
whattherapies might be available
whatnew treatments might be available
whatis the animal reservoir
whatare the most effective protective equipment and then how do we best communicate that so those are the immediate goals that have been set from the meeting and at this stage
whatdo we know about this virus how did it come to be
whathow did it become
whatit is now and
whatis it mutating into do we have a sense of any of that we do know from published material that the virus is very similar to a Asian bat
coronavirusso in that respect it's not so different from growing the virus that caused SARS and the one that caused the Middle East respiratory disease both of which had origins in bat populations and one of the questions is it was there an intermediate animal vector such as the asian anteater much like the camel was the...
intermediate vector in the Middle East at this stage
whatare the biggest challenges in fighting this virus the biggest challenge is the efficiency of transmission it's some
whatdifferent than SARS and MERS
coronavirusand that we have a more efficient means of transmission and that appears to be one of the difficulties and combine that with the fact that there was a large number of people who are gathered in Wuhan and China and who Bay Province at the time because it was during the holiday period there was the ability for it to be able to transmit to secondary and tertiary Jesus and we saw that occurring and then it spread from there you've mentioned China of course it is the epicenter of where the virus popped up where it is spreading where the most cases and fatalities are but yet there
stillremains quite a bit of skepticism about the information coming out from China including some very top US officials within the White House administration expressing concern that maybe China isn't being as forthright as it should maybe they're not taking the necessary steps they need to take
what's your assessment of how China is communicating about this and handling the problem you know from my perspective there are a number of people who video linked in there were also some Chinese colleagues who attended the meeting in Geneva and from my perspective they're being relatively forthright I do know a number of colleagues who are with the Chinese Center for Disease...
Control and they're good scientists so from that perspective I believe that the information that we're getting should be relatively reliable so
whatare the next steps that I guess globally are being undertaken to fight this virus the next steps are to be able to develop milestones and timelines with specific research questions to be able to try and answer some of the gaps that were identified at this global summit meeting that was held in Geneva recently and we expect to see those towards the end of the month there's active work going on now I've been on the email already this morning with my colleagues on my section to be able to look at mapping out the research agenda you know sir the head of the World Health Organization made an interesting comment at that summit that millions potentially billions of dollars are spent by governments around the world every year to fight terrorism and yet the spread of the next major pandemic could wipe out so many more people could be so much more lethal and so much more devastating economically and politically so from your perspective
whatis it going to take to get governments to make this a top priority I think we're seeing some of that occurring already there's been investments from a number of countries the Blenda and Bill Gates Foundation and there's expressions of interest from other governments so hopefully there'll be some solidary and solidarity and consolidation of resources that will come forward...
to be able to provide the necessary funding to move the agenda forward and based on