Virologist answers questions about COVID-19

Posted at 8:28 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-25 00:19:44-04

BALTIMORE — There is so much we don’t about the coronavirus, but there’s some really smart people working around the clock to give us all a better understanding and path beyond it.

Dr. Andrew Marshall is a molecular virologist at Loyola University of Maryland. His job is to analyze data and report what he finds— recently his focus has been on COVID-19.

He says it’s an enveloped virus which means it has an outer wrapping made from a previous cell.

“Because it is enveloped that means that it’s more sensitive to heat, detergent, bleach, ether things of that nature,” Marshall said. “That can particularly be a good thing for us because if it enveloped it’s more likely to kind of subside during the warmer temperatures. That doesn’t mean that it will. It is important to emphasize that this virus is new.”

He also emphasized that he is no way shape or form suggesting people expose themselves to artificial UV rays or try to ingest anything like bleach or detergent. Don’t do that.

He said it’s very similar to the first SARS virus we had in 2003.

That was discovered in February and tapered off in July of that same year.

“It could resurface in the fall. It could potentially mutate," he said. "I feel like I’m going to say this a lot, there’s so much about this virus that we are learning day to today about it’s structure about it’s similarities.”

He says it’s going to take time to develop testing and vaccines, and it's important to make sure the vaccine is going to do more good than harm.

In the meantime he says social distancing and knowledge are our greatest tool.

It's also important to manage your anxiety because stress can make you more vulnerable.

“If you are living in fear than one fear can ironically suppress your immune system," he said. "The one thing your worrying about can literally make you sicker.”