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Coronavirus testing, UW Keith Jerome
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Ross: UW lab now offering large-scale coronavirus tests in Seattle

UW Medicine's Dr. Keith Jerome. (University of Washington via YouTube)

At the University of Washington, the virology detectives have a warning regarding coronavirus.

Washington deals with ‘staggering’ lag in coronavirus testing

“We’re in the early days of this,” said Dr. Keith Jerome, who runs UW’s virology lab in Seattle.

For people who wonder why coronavirus is more threatening than ordinary flu, it’s simple.

“No one has any immunity to this right now,” Dr. Jerome pointed out.

Plus, it seems to spread more easily than the flu, and it likes to live on hard surfaces.

“Non-porous surfaces, things that are hard, like a metal doorknob, are great places for the virus to live a long time, possibly a couple of days,” he described.

That also includes “poles on buses, poles on the on the subway, light rail, keyboards, doorknobs, [and] the button on the elevator.”

“[You] might as well think about doing that with your elbow if you can,” he added.

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Yes, the elbow tap. I also have people who greet me with an even safer ankle tap. My work day is turning into a dance routine.

But the good news is Dr. Jerome’s lab is ready for large-scale testing:

“If health care providers want to order testing – and I want to stress that people have to go through some sort of licensed health care provider – you can go onto the University of Washington virology web page, and there’s a big button that explains everything about our test and how to get it ordered,” he advised.

Ultimately, his message to doctors is that the test is here — don’t be shy.

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