TWiV 598: Who was that masked man? Coronavirus update with Daniel Griffin

April 5, 2020

Daniel Griffin MD returns to TWiV from a hospital parking lot to provide updates on COVID-19 diagnostics, clinical picture, and therapeutics, followed by our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier,Rich Condit, and Kathy Spindler

Guest: Daniel Griffin, MD

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Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees.

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14 comments on “TWiV 598: Who was that masked man? Coronavirus update with Daniel Griffin

  1. Cameron Rogers Apr 5, 2020

    Hi TWiV team,
    Thanks again for another great podcast, thanks to Dr Daniel Griffin taking the time for an update, That is great news on having more effective therapeutic approaches. I thought people may like a link to the IL-6 inhibitor Tocilizumab: the first interleukin-6-receptor inhibitor.

  2. Ivanna Apr 5, 2020

    Hi, guys. I started listening to your podcast weeks ago, and one of my favorite parts of the show are the updates on antiviral drug combinations, vaccines, and other treatments. Medical research is progressing at a such an impressively quick rate during this “selective pressure!” Do you guys foresee any of the new drugs working on treating old diseases, like certain coronavirus common colds? Any specific predictions?

  3. Suzanne Apr 5, 2020

    Ran across this after hearing y’all talking about hepa filters

  4. Yukie Apr 5, 2020

    Hello, TWiV podcasters!

    Thank you again for super frequent updates.
    And… sending the biggest applause to Dr. Griffin!

    We all are in a difficult time… so, I would like to send some laughs!
    This is the latest PPAP (PIKO TARO) video clip

    Take care!

  5. The Wuhan study described by Daniel Griffin about the use of a corticosteroid to treat later-stage COVID-19 was fascinating and encouraging. (I loved the comment about not needing a statistician to appreciate the strength of the steroid benefit in these very sick patients.) Importantly, Griffin stressed how important the timing was for administering the steroid; don’t give it too early in disease progression because you could do more harm than good.

    Hearing Griffin’s comments prompted several members of my family who take steroids for asthma to ask whether they should stop taking the medicine, by tapering off, of course. Their question leads to the next question: We hear that asthma is one of the risk factors for (perhaps more severe) COVID-19. It makes sense that any lung problem would increase the intensity of the disease, but does anyone know whether that risk is further exacerbated by taking prednisone or some similar corticosteroid?

    Thanks for your wonderful program. I am an avid listener. I tell all my nonscience friends about the show and a few of them now share my enthusiasm for TWIV.

  6. JIm Cartmell Apr 6, 2020

    What I’m see here is this…

    The easiest, near term solution to the pandemic is quality of care. If we could reduce the legality and make corona virus survivable, that would be a real game changer. We know in some areas, death rate is high or lower. And my guess it’s because of the quality of care and treatment protocols.

    A combination of a treatment protocol which monitors key milestones in disease progression and a broadening of the base for treatment from hospitals ICUs to a less intensive treatment center. Technology would be an important component because of the need for real time monitoring of patient vitals.

    Thanks for all your great work!

  7. Thanks for the great info. I currently practice as a swine veterinarian. In regard to vaccines it may be good to take a look at the swine industry, we have several corona viruses that we deal with regularly in pigs (PED, TGE, Delta Corona, Respiratory Corona), and no real effective vaccine despite much effort to product one that works. Best case you may get slightly less shedding and slight reduction in clinical signs. Also in regard to the comment on immunity (getting COVID19 as a child and then having limited clinical signs if you get it again as an adult) for PED, pigs can get this as as piglets and then get it again (clinically they appear they’ve never had it) as adults. So different strain and maybe different outcome, but something to keep in mind.

  8. Kim Mackey Apr 7, 2020

    So a number of anecdotes about hydroxychloroquine and the resolution of covid-19 symptoms seems to be associated with forms of zinc, like zinc sulfate or zinc gluconate. If true, this would seem to indicate that hydroxychloroquine’s efficacy is due to it being a zinc ionophore. Why not investigate other zinc ionophores to test this hypothesis? They might have fewer side effects than hydroxychloroquine and be more widely available.

  9. Just saw this video about controlled breathing for COVID-19 patients. Wondering what you all think about this. I have practiced controlled breathing as a martial artist since 1984, and understand some of the effects and benefits on daily activities and stressful situations. But it takes great effort and will, and of course one does have to sleep…

    Best Regards!


  10. With social isolation sweeping the country and the world, what do you think will happen to the other viruses that are transmitted between humans, EG the flu? The cold virus? Will they be mitigated?

  11. John Barlow Apr 10, 2020

    Greetings from beautiful Vermont where it is a cloudy spring day and some snow is expected in the mountains later today, and from the Barlow lab, we are doing our part to shelter in place despite how much we would like to be back at work in the lab!)

    Thanks to Dr. Griffin for taking the time to share his knowledge and experience.

    With regard to the discussion of susceptibility of domestic animals to SARS-CoV-2 on TWiV 598 (and beyond, for example the recent cases among big cats in the Bronx Zoo), an excellent resource for pet owners is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) . Kudos to Vincent and the hosts for noting, experimental challenge is not the same as natural exposure, and always good to recommend to avoid kissing your pets, (especially now if you are infected or might be shedding or even think you might have been exposed), and after handling your pets, always remember to wash your hands before touching your face or handling food, applying make-up and related activities that might increase exposure with mucous membranes.

    There was also a news article on this topic in Nature, , where Dr. Linda Saif is quoted. In my opinion, Dr. Saif would be an interesting person to include on a future show. Dr. Saif’s brief bio is available at Some highlights include: “Dr. Saif is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (2003)… Dr. Saif’s lab was the first in 1995 to document the interspecies transmission of coronaviruses from wild ruminants to cattle and from cattle to poultry… Her research on ruminant coronaviruses and their interspecies transmission is particularly relevant to the documented zoonotic transmission of MERS from camels to humans in the Middle East. Dr. Saif was a lead consultant to the WHO during the 2003 SARS outbreak and her laboratory is a WHO International Reference Lab for Animal coronaviruses in the SARS network.

    Thanks for doing what you do – your podcasts were regularly played in our lab in the past, and I need to renew the habit when we are allowed to return to work in the lab space!
    John Barlow DVM PhD
    Associate Professor
    Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences