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NYMC and TCUS Host Seventh COVID-19 Symposium

Presented "What Have We Learned? How Can We Use What We Have Learned?"

November 02, 2020
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Seventh COVID Symposium

Infectious disease specialist Marisa Montecalvo, M.D., professor of medicine and director of student health services, spoke on the treatment efficacy of hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, dexamethasone and monoclonal antibodies. While data from clinical trials is still being evaluated, Dr. Montecalvo said she was impressed by the unprecedented collaboration among investigators performing clinical trials.

Karen M. Murray, M.D. '99, associate dean for admissions for the School of Medicine, and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, presented the recommendations and key principles of the Society of Maternal and Fetal Medicine and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology for obstetrical care during the pandemic. She stressed the importance of routine screenings and explained how telemedicine can be used. Dr. Murray also provided information on pregnancy and breastfeeding and domestic violence during the pandemic.

Next up was Janet Piscitelli, M.D., director of pathology and laboratory services, Westchester Medical Center, who gave an update on the latest in COVID-19 testing with the caveat that the material she was presenting could very well change with new information being learned every day. She described the collection, processing and methods of nasopharyngeal, nasal, saliva, sewage, pooled and individual testing. 

Salomon Amar, D.D.S., Ph.D., vice president for research at NYMC and provost for biomedical research at TCUS, presented what is known about sequencing viral genomes and how viral variants have great implications on diagnostics, prognostics, disease management and pandemic policies. He concluded naturally emerging attenuated SARS-CoV-2 variants across the globe should be of key interest in the fight against the pandemic.

Closing the program before the live Q&A, was Edward C. Halperin, M.D., M.A., chancellor and chief executive officer who presented a historical perspective on celebrity and presidential illness in order to help understand this episode in American history. He presented examples of several U.S. presidents and their illnesses, some known to the public at the time, others not disclosed for various reasons. Dr. Halperin also spoke on the influence of public illness of celebrities on private individuals and their behaviors.