The Big Question: Susan Kline on the novel coronavirus

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Dr. Susan Kline, MD, MPH is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine, University of Minnesota. She is the Co-Director of the General Infectious Disease service and the Physician Director of Antimicrobial Management for the ID Division. She is also the Interim Division Director, Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School and Hospital Epidemiologist and Executive Medical Director for Infection Prevention, University of Minnesota Medical Center.

Her research interests include the epidemiology of healthcare associated infections and prevention of these infections. In addition to her work on Infection Control and Antibiotic Decision Support systems Susan Kline is currently conducting a randomized clinical trial, “Effectiveness of Screening and Decolonization of S. aureus in Surgery Outpatients”. She recently completed another RCT in 2013, “A Trial for the Safety and Effectiveness of a Novel Antimicrobial-Coated Foley Catheter for Reduction of CAUTI”.

Kline, Susan_193_2019

What is the biggest question regarding the new coronavirus?

How does it spread from human to human? Does it spread through the airborne route? Or is it mostly droplet? What is the roll of fecal oral transmission? Is it spread through consuming infected food?

Why is it significant?

Knowing the ways the virus spread is critical to controlling further spread of the virus.

Where is the answer likely to come from?

The answer is likely to come from studying the patterns of spread in this outbreak, e.g. hospital outbreaks and transmission in the home and in the community. We will also learn valuable information about potential avenues of spread, and the potential periods of transmissibility, from the sampling of body fluids for the virus during the course of the illness.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons; Susan Kline

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