State's Top Doc: We're Still In The Early Stages Of COVID-19 Crisis
March 28, 2020
By Mike Kruzman / email@example.com
Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive says the state is doing all they can to keep treatment options open as the cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the region.
Dr. Joneigh Khaldun told WHMI it will likely be several weeks until we’re out of the woods on fighting the novel coronavirus. She said there is no question that we’re still on the upslope as it comes to the number of cases, particularly in southeast Michigan.
Many hospitals are at, or near, capacity, with supplies and equipment like ventilators becoming more scarce. Dr. Khaldun says they do not want to have to make decisions on who gets treatment because of this. She says they are now transferring some COVID-19 patients to hospital facilities outside of the area, which may help delay or eliminate that need. She said this “load balancing” strategy will allow them to continue to treat people in southeast Michigan where appropriate. Khaldun said, “We’re not at the point where we have to make those difficult decisions, but it’s a good thing for right now to be planning for that scenario that we hope never comes to fruition.”
Dr. Khaldun says they at least want to see the number of confirmed cases plateau before they start thinking they’ve had any success in fighting this. It won’t be until they start seeing fewer positive cases and more open hospital beds that they will take that as the first sign that we’ve turned the corner. As for people who have recovered from coronavirus building up an immunity to it in the future, Dr. Khaldun says she hopes that’s the case, but believes more research needs to be done. Early articles she’s read suggest the virus isn’t mutating, meaning that if you have antibodies to it, they could last a while. She reminds that we’re still in the preliminary stages for learning about the disease and the human response to it. To hear more from Dr. Khaldun on the state of COVID-19 in southeast Michigan, make certain to tune in to WHMI’s Viewpoint, this Sunday, at 8:30am.