#332: Prof. Sam McConkey – COVID-19: Public Health Response, Clinical Presentation & Socioeconomics

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Prof. Samuel McConkey, 

Prof. Sam McConkey is a doctor and researcher specializing in the prevention and control of infectious diseases. Currently he is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. He is also a Consultant in General Medicine, Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Beaumont Hospital Dublin.

Previously Prof. McConkey was a Research Fellow in Infectious Disease at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri and an Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases at Oxford Radcliffe Trust.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What we currently know about the virus and how it’s affecting people: presentation of elevated liver enzymes, kidney issues, blood glucose excursions, etc.
  • Testing sensitivity and specificity: false negative and false positive rates
  • Antibody testing: what role does it have?
  • Does presence of antibodies actually indicate immunity?
  • Why the idea of a vaccine within 18 months is aburdly optimistic
  • Why is there still lack of consensus on mask use in general public?
  • How this ties in socioeconomics
  • The critical importance of social cohesion
  • Social inequality: There is a massive difference in how both the virus and the restrictions impact people in society due to wealth disparity

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