COVID-19 – What is UNMC ID doing?

Although it has not been officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), as of this morning, there were 81, 191 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,768 deaths worldwide. To date, 57 of these cases are within US borders, and there are increasing cases throughout the world.

UNMC & Nebraska Medicine have had our quarantine and biocontainment units active and caring for patients with known COVID-19 (also known as SARS-CoV-2) infection. Our multidisciplinary teams are working hard to prevent spread of infection, to care for those with infection and now, we are launching into research for future treatments.  

The first study in the US, a NIH sponsored randomized, controlled trial of the antiviral medication (remdesivir) has begun. Dr. André Kalil is the Primary Investigator, with several co-investigators from our team caring for patients with COVID-19. See a short video clip of Dr. Kalil discussing the trial here.

Dr. Andre Kalil – PI for the new clinical trial on remdesivir for treatment of COVID-19.

With no known effective treatments to date, the trial starts at a critical time, as officials from the CDC have cautioned that Americans should prepare for community spread of COVID-19 here within the US borders. The CDC has guidance on ways to prepare here.

There are several ways our UNMC, Nebraska Medicine, NETEC and state-wide infection control assessment and promotion program (ICAP) are working on providing the best possible care for current and future patients.

There are resources for donning and doffing (of personal protective equipment), updates, training and education from NETEC; and ongoing updates from UNMC/NM and our Global Center for Health and Security. As always, we will strive to keep you updated on our mission to continue to provide exceptional care for our patients.


  1. Dwayne Wilson R.P. says:

    Since the influenza and COVID-19 are different viruses, is there a chance, that they could both infect a patient at the same time.
    If so, judging from the condition of the patients in Washington, where they would most likely test first for COVID-19. If that test was positive, they would more than likely not test for influenza.
    If the patient eventually died, could the death be due to the influenza virus?

    1. Kelly Cawcutt says:

      Co-infections have been noted. Testing shortages for all viruses, in different locations, may impact this. Co-infection may be worse than single infection, but attributing a death to one or the other would be very difficult to do.

      1. Dwayne Wilson R.P. says:

        A further comment, that I had considered, concerning the Co-infection, Would it be advisable, to use an antiviral to combat the influenza, leading to less stress on the patient, and possibly increase the chance of a better outcome for the patient?

        Dwayne Wilson R.P.

  2. Christine Redman says:

    Greetings from NJ!

    I don’t think the very important information about UV mask sterilization is as widely known as it needs to be. My town called for donations of masks to the local hospital just yesterday.

    Is it possible to post a link to the methodology or to the references more conspicuously on your website?

    And congratulations to Dr Lowe and his team!

    1. Christine Redman says:

      THANK YOU!!!!

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