A timely message about infection control | Blog Post by Karen Lankford, PhD

The developing nervous system uses many of the same chemical signals to organize brain structures that the immune system uses to fight serious infections.  Therefore, infections such as a bad flu during pregnancy can increase the risk that the developing fetus will later have autism or bipolar disorder. (Depending on the time of the infection, different brain structures are affected.) In order to prevent these negative outcomes, pregnant women are routinely vaccinated against seasonal flue and treated with appropriate antiviral drugs if they develop the flu.  However, there is no vaccination or treatment for this new corona virus.  Most people who are infected with COVID-19 will have only relatively mild symptoms and will recover without any complication.  To protect the lives of their fellow citizens who many have respiratory problems or have suppressed immune systems from cancer treatments, organ transplants, or immunosuppressive drugs for autoimmune diseases and to protect the brains of our future citizens, it is important everyone follow CDC’s recommendations to avoid spreading this diseases.

The earliest symptom of COVID-19 seems to be a sudden high fever in patients who otherwise feel fine.  However, patients quickly become contagious after this initial symptom, coughing and sneezing and dispersing the virus.  If you have a sudden fever, please self-quarantine until all symptoms have gone away and follow medical advice to avoid infecting others.

AMWA’s Science Advisor, Karen Lankford, PhD, Neuroscientist at Yale University