Physicians in America have discovered markers that will speed up the process of diagnosing patients with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Examining scans of Chinese patients with the disease scientists in the Mount Sinai Health System pinpointed patterns in the lungs that develop over a seven to 10-day period. Being able to detect these signs quickly will allow health professionals to isolate patients at an earlier stage and contain the spread of the virus.
“This work augments our initial study, which was the first published research study on the imaging findings of COVID-19, and now we are able to provide a more comprehensive evaluation of how lung disease in coronavirus patients manifests and develops. If coronavirus should continue to spread and impact the United States or elsewhere more significantly, this study equips radiologists with the knowledge to recognise and more confidently suggest if a patient has COVID-19 or pneumonia due to another cause,” said co-author Michael Chung, MD, Assistant Professor of Diagnostic, Molecular and Interventional Radiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “This is necessary for prompt diagnosis for any individual patient (which will lead to more rapid and effective care), but also for patient isolation to prevent the spreading of the highly contagious disease.”
Nearly 3000 have died so far from COVID-19 and 80,000 are infected, according to the World Health Organization (WHO); and it continues to spread across Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. Major sporting events have been cancelled, and some doubts have been raised about the viability of this year’s Tokyo Olympics.
COVID-19 is a global pandemic in all but name, with Americans being warned it is only a matter of time before the country is impacted. Cross border cooperation is going to be vital in combating the threat and the breakthrough by the US physicians strengthens the global research response to the growing health crisis.
“This outbreak is a test of solidarity — political, financial and scientific. We need to come together to fight a common enemy that does not respect borders, ensure that we have the resources necessary to bring this outbreak to an end and bring our best science to the forefront to find shared answers to shared problems. Research is an integral part of the outbreak response,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.