College of Biological Sciences Virologists Talk Coronavirus

Coronavirus
We asked UC Davis College of Biological Sciences virologists Priya Shah and Samuel Díaz-Muñoz for their thoughts on the coronavirus and its effect on the public. NIAID

We asked UC Davis College of Biological Sciences virologists Priya Shah and Samuel Díaz-Muñoz for their thoughts on the coronavirus and its effects on the public.

In her research, Shah uses viruses and engineering principles to understand how flaviviruses hijack host machinery to facilitate their own replication. Díaz-Muñoz studies the social lives of viruses.

Assistant Professor Priya Shah

Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Priya Shah
Priya Shah, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

“The new coronavirus (COVID-19) is typically a mild disease, however the fatality rate is worrisome if infections in the US are as widespread as they appear to be in other countries. Until testing capabilities in the US improve, we don’t have enough information to determine how widespread it is here.

The most important thing to remember is to be diligent about handwashing. Wash hands often and for at least 20 seconds with soap, especially before eating. Use hand sanitizer if you can’t use soap. Given that community transmission is quite likely occurring, it is also wise to avoid large gatherings. Even if you are not in a high-risk group for COVID-19, this will help protect individuals who are.”

 



 

Assistant Professor Samuel Díaz-Muñoz

Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Samuel Díaz-Muñoz
Samuel Díaz-Muñoz, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

“Our sense is that many people are ‘freaking out’ about the coronavirus. The data so far suggest that this is a really dangerous virus for people over 50 and people with other health conditions, outside of those indications the disease is likely to be mild. That said, as a community we need to protect our elderly and sick because even people with very mild symptoms can transmit the virus. Therefore, prevention is key and if you have cold- or flu-like symptoms don’t go to work (or large gatherings) and call or visit your doctor - don’t wait it out!

The flu vaccine is *not* effective against coronavirus, but because flu symptoms are very similar to COVID-19, getting a flu shot could aid in differential diagnosis - and protect you from the flu! In summary, as the CDC said: Keep calm and wash your hands.’” - Díaz-Muñoz Lab

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