Top HIV Researcher Dr. David Ho on COVID-19: ‘This Is the Tip of the Iceberg’

Dr. David Ho, a noted long-time HIV researcher (TIME magazine named him Man of the Year in 1997), speaking to his alumni magazine at Cal Tech where he received his Bachelors of Science in 1974,  Ho says about the COVID-19 pandemic,  “What is disturbing is that virus shedding, as detected in the mouth or nose, is very, very common and could be there prior to onset of symptoms. That’s why transmission could occur from asymptomatic individuals. And virus shedding could continue for days up to three weeks after a person recovers. That is extremely worrisome for the spread of this virus. Furthermore, the stability of this virus is worrisome as well. If you put it in aerosol form and keep it in the air, the half-life is several hours; if you drop it on surfaces of copper or cardboard, it could survive about a day. But if it’s on steel or plastic surfaces, you could still detect infectious virus after 72 hours, although the infectivity decreases with time.”

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