Video: COVID-19 Why it Matters: Part 14, Why is COVID-19 Testing so Important?

This video series features UW-Green Bay’s Immunologist Brian Merkel on COVID-19 and Why it Matters. This series empowers viewers with knowledge to help them navigate through the pandemic. Merkel has a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from the Medical College of Virginia. He is an associate professor in UW-Green Bay’s Human Biology & Biology programs and has an appointment at the Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He will be responding to a number of questions related to COVID-19 and try to get behind the “why” it’s important to be educated in your decision-making as we navigate the pandemic together.

Video Transcript – COVID-19 Why it Matters: Part 14, Why is COVID-19 Testing so Important?

Brian Merkel, Microbiology and Immunology and we are continuing with our series on “Why COVID-19 Matters to You.”

Testing represents the eyes that we have into the extent of the problem that we’re having in any population. If we don’t test, we simply don’t know, we’re just we’re blind. But a population that we’re particularly concerned about (With COVID-19), are those 30 years and younger. These are individuals that may become infected. They may have very few symptoms and this is a problem for these individuals because if they’re not tested, they certainly have the capacity then to spread it to other members of the population, whether it’s on the college campus, whether it’s in your community and what have you.

The reason why this is all particularly important is for those individuals that cannot handle the infection, they go into hospitals. A little less than five percent of all COVID infections now end up in hospitals and we are near exceeding hospital capacity at this time. It’s never been higher. And if we don’t reverse the trajectory that we’re on in the State of Wisconsin that is a big concern as we head into the months of December and January because we don’t have the vaccines yet.

So, we have to all do our part when it comes to testing. To make sure that hospitals can do what they need to do and to make sure as always that we continue to prevent those individuals that cannot handle the virus, to prevent them from becoming infected.

COVID-19 Why it Matters Video Series:

Introduction with Brian Merkel

Part 1: What are viruses and where did this one come from

Part 2: Two main types of viruses

Part 3: Why is this virus serious?

Part 4: Why wash hands/wear mask?

Part 5: I’m young! Why should I care?

Part 6: Can pandemics be stopped before they start?

Part 7: Pandemic is not local, why wear a mask?

Part 8: Why does everyone need a flu shot this year?

Part 9: What is the science behind a vaccine?

Part 10: Where can I find accurate information?

Part 11: What type of mask should I wear?

Part 12: Why HUGE COVID-19 spikes in Wisconsin?

Part 13: Fall break, protect yourself & others

Part 14: Why is COVID-19 Testing so Important?

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