Ask The Doc! The good progress in combating the virus

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Ask the Doc takes a look at the opposite side of the line in combating the virus as so many are focusing on the negative.

Dr. William Whaley returns again this week to answer questions of those asking what, if anything, are we doing right about the fight against COVID-19. As always, the tie plays a role. This time, Dr. Whaley wears a tie with balls on it as he speaks to a recurring metaphor he uses.

Handling the virus is like juggling balls in the air as an assistant continually adds one more ball after one more ball.

Making progress against the virus and understanding each stage better has helped to stop adding balls to the juggling and is looking to start removing some of these”factors” and “complications” that can overwhelm a patient.

The next step in combating the virus and the overwhelming, as BKP says, is getting out the information for people to see the progress. BKP walks you through the Department of Public Health Website as Dr. Whaley explains some of the numbers and population comparisons.

With more information, we know a lot more about treatment, we know a lot more about the virus. Dr. Whaley talks about reacting to and treating to turn Cytokine Storms into healthy lungs.

According to the National Cancer Institute, a Cytokine Storm is “a severe immune reaction in which the body releases too many cytokines into the blood too quickly. Cytokines play an important role in normal immune responses, but having a large amount of them released in the body all at once can be harmful. A cytokine storm can occur as a result of an infection, autoimmune condition, or other disease. It may also occur after treatment with some types of immunotherapy. Signs and symptoms include high fever, inflammation (redness and swelling), and severe fatigue and nausea. Sometimes, a cytokine storm may be severe or life threatening and lead to multiple organ failure. Also called hypercytokinemia.”

Cytokine Storm Syndrome is the real threat of the virus as you are “juggling” issues. The syndrome is that major ball that causes everything to fall. Dr. Whaley explains how understanding the coagulation effects and counter the major issues of the syndrome can crater fatality rates.

Thanks to these steps and continuing efforts, Dr. Whaley says that we are lowering the fatality rates of those hospitalized. It is also lowering the number of people that a single positive person infects. He explains that getting an average rate of this below one person is how you can decrease, slow, and kill the disease. He points to efforts like masks and social distancing as just one part of the steps to lower that average.

We also reach into hospitalizations and how admissions aren’t coming from COVID-19 immediately. Dr. Whaley says that you might get tested, but a person has to be sick to be admitted into a hospital. Testing procedures are improving and the hospital admissions come from positive tests.

Along with vaccines possibilities, drugs, treatments, and improvements in our medical response have dropped Atlanta’s mortality rate of hospitalizations in large systems is at 5%. Two months ago that rate was 20%.


Sponsored by North Georgia Cancer Research Specialists, affiliated with Northside Hospital, you can follow more on Ask the Doc! through the dedicated playlist on FYNTV and check out a wider variety of shows there as well.

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