Public health officials across Canada and around the world are working flat out to test as many people as possible for the novel coronavirus.
Srinivas Murthy is working to figure out how to help them if the result is positive.
“What medicines work?” he asks. “We don’t know.”
Murthy, a professor of critical care at the University of British Columbia, is one of hundreds of Canadian scientists spending long hours in their labs and by their computers trying to help governments and clinicians figure out how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this month, the federal government awarded almost $27 million in grants to coronavirus-related research. The money is funding 47 projects across the country.
There are studies into faster diagnostic tests, how the disease is transmitted and the structure of the virus itself. Other scientists are considering why some people ignore public health warnings and how the public perceives risk.
Some are asking how to keep health workers safe. Some are looking at the effects on children or Indigenous people or on food security. Lessons from past public-health crises are also being studied.
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