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Specialists from China, US share COVID-19 knowledge

By LI WENFANG in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2020-03-28 10:24
Zhong Nanshan, a prominent expert in respiratory diseases, talks to a medical expert from the US during a videoconference, on March 27, 2020. [Photo/CCTV]

Medical professionals from China and the United States shared their knowledge about COVID-19 epidemic control and patient treatment in a videoconference on Friday morning as infection cases continued to surge globally.

The number of coronavirus infections in the US reached 85,996 on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Also, the capital, Washington, reported a jump in infections.

Those taking part in the meeting included four experts from the Chinese mainland, including Zhong Nanshan, a prominent expert in respiratory diseases, two from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and three from the US.

Zhong, also a leading specialist fighting at the front line of the outbreak in China, briefed his counterparts on transmission features, diagnosis, clinical characteristics, management and China's strategy in controlling the spread of the virus.

Zhong drew attention to the high reproduction rate of the virus, high patient mortality compared with the flu and transmission to humans by asymptomatic virus carriers.

The earlier a patient's onset, the higher the infectiousness, he said. Zhong also advised that sewers and exhaust pipes be kept unobstructed to curb the spread of the virus.

Li Shiyue, a professor at the Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Health in Guangdong province, spoke primarily about bronchoscopy, a test that allows examination of a patient's airways. Luo Fengming, a professor at the West China Hospital of Sichuan University in Chengdu, who worked for nearly two months in Wuhan, Hubei province, former epicenter of the outbreak, shared his views on clinical diagnosis and personal protection.

Gerard Criner, a professor at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, briefed the attendees on the prevention status in the US and the related experience from his university.

Criner said keeping an ear out for advice and experience from colleagues in other virus-hit countries including China, Italy and Spain has been necessary at the university.

The disease has become a top concern for any medical center in areas affected by the novel coronavirus. The situation calls for more hospital beds, respiratory equipment and also protective gear for the medical staff.

A wide range of medical workers is necessary to handle the epidemic, such as specialists in anesthesia and pulmonary and critical care, he added.

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