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COVID-19 Weekly Update - Remdesivir, Convalescent Plasma Trial Update, & Antibody Testing Efforts

ChiralJon on Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/69057297@N04/)
3D molecular structure (Jmol) of remdesivir (RDV).

Another week of experiencing life with the new coronavirus has passed, and the rate of new cases in Florida has declined by about 15% versus the week before, and area hospitals are not currently being overwhelmed by new cases. Hospitals are resuming elective and urgent surgeries today. 

And new research has led to the FDA granting Emergency Use Authorization for an antiviral drug called Remdesivir, which was originally developed to treat Ebola. Today we’re going to learn more about Remdesivir, the research that led to its conditional approval, and how antirviral drugs like it work.

We're also going to get an update on Lee Health's Convalsescent Plasma Study, and efforts to expland antibody testing for COVID-19. Our guests are Lee Health infectious disease doctor, Doug Brust, and molecular virologist Dr. Sharon Isern,  who is a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Since last week there have been 125 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lee County; 91 new cases in Collier County; 46 new cases in Charlotte Count; 43 new cases in Hendry County; and Glades County is still reporting 6 cases total. In all there have been 98 coronavirus related deaths across Southwest Florida, 145 if you include Sarasota County.
Overall, the Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard puts the latest number of confirmed cases in all of Florida at 36,897 – that’s up from 32,138 last Monday at this time, and 26,660 the week before. The rate of increase statewide had been staying steady at around 6000 a week for the past month, but this past week it  dropped to about 4500 new cases week over week.
Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and has recovered can click HEREto learn more about participating in the convalescent plasma study, or you can send an email to COVID.plasma@LeeHealth.org (email preferred), or call 239-343-2332.