Peter McCaffery, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Aberdeen, reflects on whether these steps are really necessary in order to prevent Covid-19 from infecting more people.
Sputnik: Should people in the UK be stockpiling food in preparation for further spread of the Coronavirus?
Peter McCaffery: In my personal view, they shouldn’t be stockpiling, because that’s an unfair thing to do, as you are taking food away potentially from other people, but it’s going to be worse than flu, the facts have demonstrated that.
The coronavirus has about a one or two per cent fatality rate, that’s clearly higher than flu, and it also seems to be contagious, perhaps as contagious as flu, perhaps more so, it is undoubtedly a problem, but if people just follow the measures that are being widely disseminated by the government; I think that’s going to be the best solution.
I hope we don’t have to take the same steps that have been taken in Italy, which we’ve seen has been quite drastic, but in terms of stockpiling I think, no people shouldn’t be doing it, and I think that the government will be able to deal with things.
Sputnik: What could be an effective treatment for the coronavirus?
Peter McCaffery: A number of people are touting that if you take Vitamin C orally, it could potentially cure you, and there seems to be very little evidence for that, so in other words, taking Vitamin C or pretty much any vitamin orally, will not protect you from coronavirus.
There’s also been some discussion in terms of intravenous Vitamin C, and that’s a different question, that’s something that obviously you can’t do yourself, you cannot give yourself intravenous Vitamin C, that could lead to a disaster, but there are some trials right now in China, for using intravenous vitamin C, in other words, these are very high doses that reach the bloodstream very quickly, to try and bring down the inflammation that results from the coronavirus.
These are trials that have literally just started, and there are no results, you have the hope that there would be some positive results from those trials, it’s very hard to know at this point, but from what’s already known about vitamin C there’s a possibility that there might be some effect, and of course we really hope that there would be.
I would say in the long term that vaccination ss really going to be the only solution to this problem that we have right now with the coronavirus.
Sputnik: Could the coronavirus mutate significantly in the coming months?
Peter McCaffery: Given the class of virus it is, we already know that it’s the same class as colds and flu, and an effective vaccine has been developed for flu, that generally works for the upcoming season, and you would guess that the same thing is going to be true for this novel coronavirus, that a vaccine will be developed within the next few months. One hopes that it will be developed before the next winter season at least, but the likelihood that every year it will change is reasonably high, so we will have probably the same situation as you do with the flu, that every year a new coronavirus vaccine will need to be developed.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.