OROVILLE, Calif.- Medical workers all over the world are putting their lives on the line to protect others from the coronavirus.
Action News Now reporter Kristian Lopez sat down for a Facetime interview with Dr. Roy Shannon, who is head of infection control at Oroville Hospital.
Dr. Shannon answered a variety of questions about the coronavirus.
Q: If someone gets the coronavirus could they get it again or does this cause immunity?
A: We don't know that for sure, the assumption is that we probably have immunity, with most viral infections when you get them and recover, you have immunity, but that's not always the case, we don't know for sure, but we are assuming that if you've had it and recovered you are probably immune.
Q: How long do you think we will have to continue to follow social distancing guidelines?
A: I think it's going to be awhile, but it's going to depend on how things go throughout the country, I suppose it's easier to socially distance in a smaller community, but even in a large community if they take it seriously they can do it, but it probably helps that we have a lower population because we seem to have far lower numbers than a lot of the large metropolitan areas.
Q: How soon do you think we could see a vaccine?
A: Once you make a vaccine you need to test it, first of all to see if it's safe, because there have been vaccines in that past that have turned out not to be, vaccines are wonderful modalities and we want to get a good vaccine, but it's probably going to be at a year before we have a safe, effective vaccine.
Q: Could using the plasma of those who have had the coronavirus and recovered help prevent others from getting the virus?
A: That is a very investigational issue right now, that's being done but only in a very investigational basis, and you have to remember that if you take something from the plasma of a person to give to another person you have to make sure you don't give them any other disease, so the donors of plasma, the folks who have had and recovered from coronavirus, if they are going to be donors, they will have to be tested just like blood donors to make sure they aren't going to transmit something else like hepatitis C or any other diseases. It's starting to happen only in investigational settings and there are a lot of constraints, and you have to meet a lot of criteria for that, so we are not going to see that in our area for sure.
Q: Anything else you'd like to say?
A: I would just like to comment that the nurses I see that are working are doing a wonderful job, all of the doctors are doing their best, we are looking ahead and making preparations as best we can but so far we have been pretty fortunate.