Natalie E. Dean, PhD+ Your Authors @nataliexdean Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at @UF specializing in emerging infectious diseases and vaccine study design. @HarvardBiostats PhD. Tweets my own. She/her. May. 11, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

Science is our exit strategy. Driving case numbers low buys us important time to develop, test, and deploy vaccines, but there are many other important reasons to slow transmission.

A thread on what each day buys us. 1/8

Better treatments.

Antivirals tend to have limited efficacy for severely ill patients, but manufactured antibodies hold more promise. These should start entering trials within the next few months. 2/8 

Earlier treatments.

Antivirals are likely more effective when given early in the course of illness. So far we have been focusing on severely ill patients, but expect more trials in patients earlier in the course of illness. 3/8 

Better understanding of the disease.

Clinicians are still learning a lot about the disease, such as the role of clotting. This information can result in better care, improved patient outcomes, and new avenues for treatments. 4/8 

Post-exposure prophylaxis.

A short drug regimen given after a known exposure could reduce severity of illness. This could be provided to household contacts as part of contact tracing. Expect more trials testing this. 5/8 

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

Front-line workers may benefit from a regimen of low-dose drug to help prevent infection (like a vaccine you take every day) or at least reduce severity of disease. Many large trials ongoing worldwide now. 6/8 


The pace of vaccine development is truly incredible. Many different candidates being pursued. Innovations to speed the process by overlapping (not skipping) steps. WHO is now planning a large multi-country trial to quickly measure efficacy. 7/8

Ignore the haters that try to tell you most everyone is going to infected anyway so best to get it out of the way early. Keeping numbers low saves lives. Invest in science! 8/8

You can follow @nataliexdean.


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