UofL Health Doctor Answers Coronavirus Questions

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — From antibody tests to vaccine development, the science behind the COVID-19 fight changes rapidly. Dr. Jon Klein from UofL Health joined Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer for a remote session to answer your coroanvirus questions.

One viewer asked when the antibody testing will be available. To that, Klein answered that it already is available in some hospitals on a limited basis, but added that Dr. Kenneth Palmer with the Louisville Center for Predictive Medicine is working on a more specialized test.

“It’s important to realize that the antibody test does not tell you that you have protection. It just tells you that you have made antibodies. To do that, there is a more specialized antibody test that is under development in Dr. Ken Palmer’s lab that should be rolling out in the next week to two weeks,” Klein said.

Another viewer asked if scientists will even be able to make a COVID-19 vaccine since the virus evolves so rapidly. Klein said he is optimistic about the pace of vaccine development.

The evidence that we have so far is that this virus does not mutate so quickly that a vaccine can’t be made, so we think it can be made. There are over 115 separate virus candidates that are under study at the moment across the globe,” Klein said. “Five of them have entered clinical trials in humans already. This is amazing speed in the vaccine development world.”

Someone else asked Klein if summer weather will slow the spread, particularly on outdoor surfaces. Klein said doctors just don’t know for sure, but there is some interesting research on it.

“Laboratory tests that simply expose the virus to a higher increasing temperature, clearly shows that it is sensitive to temperature, but whether that will happen in the real world, we will only know in the coming weeks and months,” Klein said.

You can watch the full question and answer session below: