The medical consultant on the hit pandemic thriller “Contagion” has tested positive for coronavirus.
Ian Lipkin, the consultant who also leads Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity, revealed his diagnosis Tuesday along with a grim warning while appearing on Fox Business from his home.
“If it can hit me, it can hit anybody,” Lipkin said, adding that the virus is “miserable.”
Lipkin said he had an idea of where he contracted the virus but wasn’t exactly sure.
“But it doesn’t matter. This virus can be found all over the United States,” he added. “You can get it anywhere.”
The US is home to more than 51,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with the country trailing just China and Italy for the most COVID-19 patients. More than 670 have died from the virus in the states.
Lipkin said spoke hopefully of new tests being conducted at Columbia University, Johns Hopkins and other research facilities involving blood plasma drawn from patients who recovered from the coronavirus.
Ideally, the tests will help reveal new methods of treatment that “can prevent infection or progression of infection” but that it’s not easy to rapidly scale up the procedure for the entire country.
“But we will be able to use lessons learned to developed other sort of pharmacological treatments based on what we’ve found,” he said.
Lipkin said there could be some instances where such plasma transfusions could cause “harm rather than health.”
“This is something we’ve only begun to explore and we don’t know the optimal dose,” he said.
The “very best tool” to fight the virus right now is to implement aggressive, nationwide as seen in New York and Chicago, Lipkin said.
“We really don’t know when we’re going to get this under control,” Lipkin said. “It’s extraordinarily important that we harmonize whatever restrictions we have across the country because we have porous borders between states, between cities.”
“And unless we’re consistent, we’re not going to get ahead of this thing,” he added.
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