Doctor Javier Jaimes, who is based at Cornell University, is one of the leading researchers of COVID-19. NBC 6's Nathalia Ortiz sat down with him to discuss how the virus has developed since the pandemic began.
Nathalia: Since the last time we spoke, have there been any additional discoveries or any aspects of COVID-19 that we should be aware of?
Dr. Jaimes: When we first saw this virus, we were trying to figure out what was new. And then we figured out that this virus is pretty similar to the other ones that we have seen before, so we decided to switch from trying to understand the infection, as we know now is pretty similar to previous viruses. And now we are studying how to treat it; how to try to interfere with the infection process.
Nathalia: What would you say about the mutation of the virus?
Dr. Jaimes: This mutation is actually stabilizing the protein. And when you stabilize the protein, it allows the virus to be more stable. And to, in a way, survive a little bit longer in the environment, so it will facilitate the infection to a new person. It’s not making it more contagious. It’s making it more stable. And that is, again, a hypothesis that hasn’t been proved. But this is what we think is happening with this virus now.
Nathalia: What do you say about the recent announcement that Russia has made that they’ve developed and made available a vaccine for COVID-19, before many laboratories and other institutions have?
Dr. Jaimes: We are actually are concerned that that vaccine could bring like a failed or a fake impression on the people that they are protected, while they might not be protected because the vaccine has not been tested in terms of how long it’s gonna last and how efficient it’s gonna be to actually prevent the disease.