Prof Tells Bloomberg Businessweek Podcast What Makes This Coronavirus Different

Dave Wessner With Student in Lab

Dave Wessner, biology professor and interim chair of health and human values, appeared on the Bloomberg Businessweek podcast yesterday.

Wessner, who studied the pathogenesis of coronaviruses as a post-doctoral researcher at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, offered his insight on what makes this most recent virus strain unique.

One major distinguishing characteristic: The strain that causes COVID-19 is highly contagious. According to Wessner, the 2002 SARS outbreak and the 2012 MERS illness were more lethal but didn’t spread so easily. The current strain is—so far—causing fewer deaths, but “the real concern is that it can easily spread to the most vulnerable population… And our health care system is not equipped to handle large numbers of sick people.”


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