COVID-19 Case Studies: How Far Science Has Come

October 23, 2020
Kevin Kunzmann

Ravina Kullar, PharmD, MPH, reflects on rapid advances in COVID-19 treatment understanding during IDWeek 2020.

Hindsight is 20/20, the saying goes.

In the realm of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) care, therapy research and development is so rapid that it’s difficult for scientists to not face the cold reality of hindsight on a near-daily basis; so often and so quickly does clinical understanding of the pandemic update that direction is constantly changing, strategies are constantly refining.

A virtual panel discussion hosted at IDWeek 2020 drove home that message for at least one participant this week.

Ravina Kullar, PharmD, MPH, an infectious disease pharmacist and epidemiologist, and founder of duXsana, discussed her involvement in the IDWeek panel aptly titled “Challenging Cases in COVID-19: Through Fire and Water.”

The event subjected a group of infectious disease experts to a series of difficult COVID-19 patient case studies in real-time, requiring their collaboration to establish appropriate care. What stood out to Kullar was realizing some cases from as far back as March of this year relied heavily on antiviral therapies now undervalued for COVID-19: hydroxycholoroquine and remdesivir, to name a few.

“It really had most of us take a step back and realize how far we have come from the beginning of this pandemic, when we thought one agent may have worked,” Kullar told Contagion®. “We have learned so much during just the months we have been in this pandemic.”

In an interview during IDWeek, Kullar discussed the panel and its ability to highlight marked change in a short period of time during COVID-19. Though some of it emphasized the chaotic and sometimes failed early response to the pandemic, Kullar herself saw the great strides made by a vast and collaborative network of researchers in such short time.

“I think the silver lining here is that in just 10 months into this pandemic, science has come such a long way,” Kullar said. “Scientists have been working long and hard to get good data out in a record time."