Doctors answer dozens of coronavirus questions during first Medical College of Wisconsin virtual town hall meeting

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WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58)-- The Medical College of Wisconsin hosted their first virtual town hall on the coronavirus Monday evening. The virtual town hall gave the community an opportunity to ask questions and learn ways to stay safe and healthy.

The virtual town hall webinar was open to the public and is just the first in a series. Doctors received a variety of questions from dozens who attended, including when cases in Wisconsin will peak and whether or not they’re close to finding a vaccine.

Dr. John Raymond, President and CEO of The Medical College of Wisconsin hosted the virtual town hall alongside Emergency Department Head, Dr. Ian Martin. Both doctors emphasized the seriousness of coronavirus.

“It is deadly. It’s at least 10, and more like 50 times more deadly than the flu,” adds Dr. Raymond.

Dr. Raymond says for now coronavirus is affecting Milwaukee’s north and south side communities most, and peak cases in Wisconsin won’t be for some time.

”We don’t know why it’s spreading more rapidly in the North side and South side communities and we’re deeply troubled by that,” said Dr. Raymond.  

“People much smarter than myself, they think that the peak won’t be for at least 2 to 4 weeks,” adds Dr. Martin. “We’ll be well into May.”

The doctors also gave updates on whether a vaccine is within reach.

“Takes about a year to 18 months even on the fast track,” said Dr. Raymond. “I really don’t think there’s any way that we’re going to have a vaccine any sooner than that.”

While dozens of questions were addressed, both doctors say they struggle with who to test.

“There is a limited supply,” said Dr. Martin. “The ingredients required to perform the tests are in shortage and so really hospitals and health departments are left to make some difficult decisions.”

They say there is still research to be done.

 “You’ll hear a theme here, many of our responses start with ‘we don’t have good data,’” adds Dr. Martin.  

The Medical College of Wisconsin says how often these virtual town hall meetings will happen is to be determined, but it will be based on the community’s needs.

To register in the next MCW community virtual town hall, click here.

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