Medical science

An interview with Dr. Arthur Caplan, professor of bioethics at New York University, on the COVID-19 pandemic

By Benjamin Mateus, 27 January 2021

Dr. Arthur Caplan is the Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor of Bioethics at NYU’s Langone Medical Center and the founding director of the Division of Medical Ethics.

The science of the pandemic supports teachers’ concerns over the dangers of school reopening—Part one

By Benjamin Mateus, 20 January 2021

Science validates teachers’ concerns that in-person education during the pandemic is a dangerous proposition. This article reviews some of the more recent scientific findings.

US deaths from COVID-19 lead to a more than one-year decline in life expectancy

By Benjamin Mateus, 18 January 2021

Life expectancy in the US has declined dramatically, by more than one year, due to deaths associated with COVID-19 infections. Adding to the catastrophe of the pandemic, a new variant of the coronavirus has been detected across more than 12 states, threatening to further exacerbate the crisis.

Before it begins, COVID-19 vaccination in Turkey already a fiasco

By Barış Demir, 13 January 2021

The Turkish government’s murderous ruling class “herd immunity” policy continues with a chaotic and incompetent roll-out of the vaccine.

Nebraska governor says undocumented meatpacking workers will not receive vaccine

By Alex Findijs, 7 January 2021

Governor Ricketts said during a press conference that undocumented immigrants in the meat processing industry will not receive the COVID-19 vaccine and his spokesman said its distribution will be prioritized by citizenship status.

The COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the US are proving to be a massive debacle

By Benjamin Mateus, 5 January 2021

Despite the media hype that has accompanied the release of the COVID-19 vaccines, barely three million of the 20 million doses were administered by the end of the year.

COVID-19: Global vaccination stymied by nationalism and profit gouging

By Jean Shaoul, 4 January 2021

The race to procure vaccines against a fast-spreading virus that travels unimpeded by border controls has set in motion a ferocious national competition that threatens to prolong and intensify the pandemic.

Vaccine distribution fiasco continues in the United States

By Bryan Dyne, 31 December 2020

Less than one-fifth of the vaccine doses distributed in the United States have been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

US-China tensions at center of fight over Philippine vaccine procurement

By John Malvar, 31 December 2020

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte stated on December 26 that he would terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) unless the US provided the Philippines with vaccines.

South Africa: COVID-19 cases soar with little prospect of widespread vaccination

By Jean Shaoul, 31 December 2020

The situation in South Africa is replicated in a second wave of the pandemic that is sweeping across much of the continent, which has seen a steady rise in infections since November

Coronavirus accelerates as new strain detected across Europe

By Will Morrow, 29 December 2020

The spread of the new strain of the virus intersects with the European governments’ criminal refusal of measures to stop the pandemic that would cut corporate profits.

A coronavirus Christmas

COVID-19 hospitalizations, deaths worldwide reach record highs

By Bryan Dyne, 24 December 2020

“The next 100,000 deaths are baked in,” said Biden coronavirus advisory board member Dr. Atul Gawande to CNBC.

Britain descends into chaos as coronavirus crisis mounts

By Robert Stevens, 24 December 2020

On Tuesday, 691 more people were announced dead from the virus. Yesterday this was topped with 744 deaths reported, the highest total since April 29.

The new UK variant of coronavirus raises urgent questions about pandemic policy

By Benjamin Mateus, 23 December 2020

The new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the UK highlights the importance of bringing the pandemic under strict control.

Countries impose UK travel restrictions as more infectious COVID-19 strain threatens to spread worldwide

By Chris Marsden, 22 December 2020

Even if the spread of the mutation is limited, it is already active on the continent and is only one of thousands of mutations worldwide—some of which have similar characteristics.

“I stand with Ms. Jones, and I call on others to stand in solidarity with Ms. Jones.”

Statements of support for COVID-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones from across the US

By Chase Lawrence, 15 December 2020

In response to this clear assault on democratic rights, there has been an outpouring of support by educators, scientists, and other workers in defense of Jones and the rights of whistleblowers.

“Human Nature”: Documentary explores CRISPR, the groundbreaking development in genetics

By James Hohmann, 9 December 2020

The program explores the implications of simple mass-produced genetic editing and raises the question: Is society ready for the changes that this new horizon makes possible?

New study finds young adults vulnerable to developing debilitating long-term complications from COVID-19

By Dominic Gustavo, 9 December 2020

The symptoms reported most frequently by the young adults were impaired concentration, headaches, rhinitis, exercise intolerance, dyspnea, sleep impairment, brain fog, appetite loss, fatigue, and chest pain.

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme will not halt pandemic deaths due to end of lockdown

By Robert Stevens, 9 December 2020

Despite the immense significance for mankind of the availability of the drug—and promising developments with other vaccines coming on stream—its ability to save lives given its 90 to 95 percent effectivity rate against COVID-19, is being undermined by Britain’s ruling elite in their drive to keep the economy open and make profits.

COVID-19 is now the leading cause of death in the US

By Benjamin Mateus, 7 December 2020

COVID-19 is inundating hospitals across the US. The case fatality rate is already seeing an upturn, which means that hundreds of patients who will die in the next few weeks would have survived had they been infected just a month ago.

The science behind COVID-19 vaccines

By Benjamin Mateus, 3 December 2020

Both Pfizer, a pharmaceutical giant, and the start-up firm Moderna have used essentially the same biochemical process, involving messenger RNA (mRNA) to develop a new vaccine against coronavirus.

Why are millions of Americans traveling for Thanksgiving as the pandemic rages?

By Niles Niemuth, 24 November 2020

Even as travel this week is expected to decline from last year, with many citing concerns over COVID-19 as a reason to stay home, the movement of tens of millions across the country threatens to massively accelerate the spread of COVID-19.

Number of children diagnosed with COVID-19 in the US surpasses one million

By Alex Findijs, 19 November 2020

Most of the infections have come after the reopening of schools, highlighting the dangers of in-person instruction during the pandemic.

British Medical Journal accuses UK government of the “suppression of science”

By Thomas Scripps, 18 November 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and the British ruling class’ criminal “herd immunity” response has created a humanitarian disaster.

Long-COVID post-viral syndrome: Lessons from the Russian Flu of 1889 for the COVID pandemic

By Benjamin Mateus, 10 November 2020

The post-viral syndrome associated with COVID-19 infection has been recognized in the SARS and MERS pandemic. The scope of this disease will have lasting impact on health care systems.

“Zero was never a realistic expectation”

Official academics downplay the risks of school reopenings as pandemic rages across the US

By Benjamin Mateus, 5 November 2020

The official bourgeois academics and health experts, as evidenced by the likes of Emily Oster, Ashish Jha and Scott Atlas, place the profit interests of the ruling class above the safety and lives of the working class.

The approach of the World Socialist Web Site to science

By Bryan Dyne, 3 November 2020

The WSWS was the only publication to warn very early on the dangers the working class faced if the coronavirus became a pandemic.

The explosion of new cases of COVID in the Northern Hemisphere will fuel massive social unrest

By Benjamin Mateus, 30 October 2020

There were more than 500,000 cases of COVID-19 reported globally, with the number of deaths keeping apace.

As COVID-19 surges in Europe, governments protect profits over lives

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 29 October 2020

If the resurgence of COVID-19 across Europe is not halted, it is a matter of only a few weeks before hospitals are overrun and masses of people cut off from treatment.

COVID’s deadly toll on people with Alzheimer’s and dementia

By Benjamin Mateus, 26 October 2020

Deaths from dementia have been catastrophic as the isolation and lockdowns of nursing homes have led to cessation of vital support and treatment for this vulnerable layer of the population.

COVID-19 “long-hauler” phenomenon presents in children and teens as schools reopen against expert advice

By Katy Kinner, 26 October 2020

New data is surfacing that suggests children can be saddled with chronic and debilitating post-viral illness after even mild cases of COVID-19.

UK COVID-19 deaths surge to more than 1,100 over last week

By Robert Stevens, 24 October 2020

It was the premature ending of the national lockdown from June onwards, and the opening of schools, colleges and workplaces to facilitate the profitmaking of big business, that produced this disastrous situation.

COVID-19 pandemic surges despite limited curfew measures across Europe

By Anthony Torres, 22 October 2020

With 700,000 new cases and 8,000 deaths from the virus last week, health officials are warning mortality this winter could reach four to five times that in the spring of 2020.

As coronavirus infections spike across Midwest

Excess US deaths during COVID-19 pandemic top 300,000

By Benjamin Mateus, 22 October 2020

The estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is nearly 50 percent higher than the official coronavirus death toll of 220,000 in the United States.

Trump steps up fascist agitation, targeting Fauci

By Barry Grey, 21 October 2020

Fauci has already become a target of far-right Trump supporters. He and his wife have received death threats by email, phone and text message.

UK COVID-19 “alert” system overseen by UK spy chiefs

By Julie Hyland, 20 October 2020

The decision to invest in this secretive body, rather than the National Health Service, is part of the policy of herd immunity, while using the pandemic to restructure economic and social relations and strengthen the state apparatus.

COVID-19 pandemic surges in Turkey as government continues to hide data

By Barış Demir and Ulaş Ateşçi, 19 October 2020

The government is allowing the virus to spread, citing false data to refuse any demands for lock-downs and suppress growing anger and concern within the working class.

Global surge in COVID-19 cases as governments abandon efforts to contain the pandemic

By Benjamin Mateus, 16 October 2020

The policy of “herd immunity,” effectively allowing a killer disease to run rampant, threatens to overwhelm hospitals and lead to a rising tide of deaths and suffering.

Trump’s “herd immunity” policy and right-wing terror

By Andre Damon, 14 October 2020

On Tuesday, Newsweek reported that two Trump administration officials said the White House supports the Great Barrington Declaration, a statement advocating for the mass infection of the population with COVID-19 through a policy of “herd immunity.”

The Great Barrington Declaration: Capitalism’s global policy of herd immunity

By Benjamin Mateus, 14 October 2020

Super spreading events are the primary mode of transmission for COVID-19 infections. The recent declaration at Great Barrington, Massachusetts, attempts to establish herd-immunity as a global policy that will have catastrophic consequences for the working class.

With more than 1 million dead, who have been the victims of the coronavirus pandemic?

Part two

By Benjamin Mateus, 10 October 2020

More than 1 million people globally have succumbed to COVID-19. The working class has faced the brunt of this pandemic, with all indications that the worst is still to come.

As COVID-19 deaths approach one million

WHO condemns governments’ failure to prepare for pandemic

By Bryan Dyne, 21 September 2020

The pandemic has exposed the contradiction between the highly integrated nature of modern society and the outmoded and irrational nation-state system of capitalism.

COVID-19 “long-haulers” publish patient-led research paper drawing attention to chronic illness

By Katy Kinner, 18 September 2020

COVID-19 survivors who continue to experience symptoms weeks to months after initial infection have organized themselves online, seeking to understand the phenomenon of their extended illness.

The precedents for disease eradication through international cooperation

Part two

By Frank Gaglioti, 16 September 2020

Vaccines have been successfully developed for both polio and the measles, but global elimination of the diseases lags.

New cases of COVID-19 reach a one-day high of nearly 308,000 worldwide

By Benjamin Mateus and Patrick Martin, 15 September 2020

The number of new cases of COVID-19 hit a new one-day high of nearly 308,000 worldwide, bringing the global total to almost 30 million cases and 930,000 deaths. The United States alone will reach 200,000 deaths by mid-week.

The precedents for disease eradication through international cooperation

Part one

By Frank Gaglioti, 15 September 2020

An examination of the historical record demonstrates that infectious diseases like COVID-19 can be eliminated.

Smoking in the age of COVID: Some immunological considerations

By Henry Hakamaki, 12 September 2020

Smoking and e-cigarettes are directly associated with increased risk of infection by the novel coronavirus.

The pseudoscience behind the right-wing drive to force schools to open

Part two

By Benjamin Mateus, 2 September 2020

The ruling elites and their legion of state and local officials are furiously pushing to open schools and universities. However, recent published studies have provided ample evidence that school openings will drive the pandemic toward a second, potentially larger, wave.

The pseudoscience behind the right-wing drive to force schools to open

Part one

By Benjamin Mateus, 1 September 2020

The ruling elites and their legion of state and local officials are furiously pushing to open schools and universities. However, recent published studies have provided ample evidence that school openings will drive the pandemic towards a second potentially larger wave.

Mounting evidence of COVID-19 reinfection

By Henry Hakamaki, 31 August 2020

Several recent studies suggest that survivors of the coronavirus can come down with a second case after recovering from a first infection.

Under pressure from the White House, CDC issues guidelines for less COVID-19 testing

By Benjamin Mateus, 27 August 2020

The change in guidelines has been met with a barrage of anger and dismay among various health experts and physician groups who have repeatedly stated that the key to suppressing the infection is broad, mass testing of the population.

Who is Scott Atlas, Trump’s new adviser on the COVID-19 pandemic?

By Benjamin Mateus, 18 August 2020

Dr. Scott Atlas, a former neuroradiologist and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution was selected as the new presidential adviser on the pandemic to “counter” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading US epidemiologist.

The coronavirus pandemic and capitalism

Russia’s vaccine intensifies global struggle for profits and geopolitical advantage

By Barry Grey, 13 August 2020

Vladimir Putin’s announcement Tuesday that Russia has officially approved a COVID-19 vaccine has intensified the global conflict between national powers and pharmaceutical giants to be the first to mass produce and market a vaccine for the deadly virus.

Why is the US doing less and less COVID-19 testing?

By Bryan Dyne, 11 August 2020

Without any serious explanation by the government, the number of tests being done every day in the United States has dropped significantly over the past two weeks.

Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine racket

By Bryan Dyne, 30 July 2020

Moderna’s exorbitant price point for its taxpayer subsidized vaccine exemplifies the corporate-financial elite’s exploitation of the coronavirus catastrophe for its selfish private gain.

Canadian medical experts provide ideological justification for homicidal back-to-work drive

By Laurent Lafrance, 25 July 2020

Exploiting their professional qualifications to give their arguments credibility, the experts have fully endorsed the corporate elite’s reactionary dictum: “The cure cannot be worse than the disease.”

The nationalist hijacking of the race for a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 July 2020

Vaccine nationalism is driving the fury to capitalize on being the first nation to produce a viable cure against the coronavirus.

White House in disarray as coronavirus numbers explode

By Patrick Martin, 16 July 2020

The one-day total of infections has set a new record of 71,670 and deaths are once again climbing.

Trump wages war against science and Dr. Fauci, not coronavirus

By Patrick Martin, 14 July 2020

At an appearance Monday, Trump continued to deny that the coronavirus is actually spreading in the United States, claiming the skyrocketing number of cases is due entirely to more testing.

Pandemic surges in the Americas as the global death toll nears 560,000

By Kate Randall, 11 July 2020

The United States is leading the global toll of new COVID-19 cases and deaths, with nearly 3.2 million cases and 134,092 deaths as of Friday evening, about a quarter of the global total.

The COVID-19 vaccine and the drive for profit

By Frank Gaglioti, 8 July 2020

As the pandemic rages across the planet, the struggle to develop a vaccine has become an urgent task. But the vaccines will be weaponized for geopolitical purposes, not to provide the treatments equitably on a global scale.

The inequality pandemic: How American capitalism puts profits over lives

By Andre Damon, 2 July 2020

The resurgence of COVID-19 is the outcome of a policy, led by the Trump administration but supported by the entire political and media establishment, of subordinating society’s needs to the interests of the financial oligarchy.

Pandemic profiteering: Gilead Sciences cashes in on COVID-19

By Bryan Dyne, 1 July 2020

Gilead’s declaration that it will charge over $3,000 per patient for the drug remdesivir sends a clear message that pharmaceutical companies plan to use the COVID-19 crisis to make billions of dollars.

The poor in Germany have a higher risk of falling sick from COVID-19

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 30 June 2020

The poorest people in Germany, including the long-term unemployed and recipients of Hartz IV social welfare, have an 84 percent higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 and requiring hospitalization.

Dutch government exposed by disastrous handling of COVID-19 pandemic

By Harm Zonderland and Parwini Zora, 30 June 2020

When the pandemic hit the Netherlands, the Dutch government adopted a reckless wait-and-see posture, even when it was clear that COVID-19 was potentially fatal.

Contact tracing and capitalism’s response to the pandemic

By Benjamin Mateus, 27 June 2020

As the globe rapidly approaches ten million cases of COVID-19, the United States continues to ignore any public health measures to contain the pandemic.

UK: Legal action highlights social-Darwinist policies against the disabled during COVID-19 pandemic

By Alice Summers, 16 June 2020

Numerous medical guidance documents published during the pandemic suggest that coronavirus patients can be denied or deprioritised for medical care solely on the basis of their age or existing mental or physical disabilities.

The World Health Organization comes under new US attack for its relationship to China

By Benjamin Mateus, 9 June 2020

China and the WHO are useful scapegoats for the systematic neglect of the health and lives of millions of people on the part of the Trump administration and other imperialist governments

White House Coronavirus Task Force effectively ended by Trump

By Bryan Dyne, 3 June 2020

Now that all fifty states have begun reopening in some form, the pandemic is considered over by the US ruling elite even as coronavirus infections and deaths continue to climb.

Democratic Governor Whitmer lifts major COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan

By Kevin Reed, 3 June 2020

The announcement rescinds the stay-at-home order, along with a series of other restrictions even though most of the state remains in the “flattening” phase of the pandemic.

Canada’s governments ignored 2006 pandemic preparedness report

By Dylan Lubao, 3 June 2020

The 550-page “Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan for the Health Sector” is further proof that the COVID-19 pandemic was both foreseeable and foreseen.

COVID-19 pandemic exposes a rapidly developing global health crisis

By Benjamin Mateus, 2 June 2020

The pandemic has caused severe disruptions in the delivery of health care in fragile health systems the world over.

UK: Allowing mass-attended sporting events to go ahead led to COVID-19 deaths

By Margot Miller, 2 June 2020

Ignoring the WHO’s announcement on January 30 that the emergence of the novel coronavirus represented a “public health emergency of international concern,” the Conservative government made no preparations to stop its spread in Britain.

Discredited policy of coronavirus “herd immunity” placed in stark relief

By Benjamin Mateus, 1 June 2020

Much of the population of the globe remains susceptible to coronavirus infection, exposing the pursuit of herd immunity as a horrifically deadly policy.

Rise in deaths attributed to pneumonia suggests official US coronavirus death toll is grossly undercounted

By Bryan Dyne and Benjamin Mateus, 29 May 2020

The actual number of COVID-19 dead in the United States is likely to be at least 150,000, 50 percent more than what has been officially reported.

Dow Jones hits 25,000 as pandemic death toll reaches 100,000

By David North, 27 May 2020

The Wall Street surge anticipates the shutdown of all restraints on corporate operations and capitalist profiteerring.

Reports question undercounting of COVID-19 deaths in US and globally

By Bryan Dyne, 27 May 2020

There is increasing evidence that the actual fatalities caused by the pandemic are up to three times the numbers officially reported.

Sweden’s “herd immunity” policy produces one of world’s highest fatality rates

By Jordan Shilton, 27 May 2020

Sweden’s policy has been praised by reactionary political forces and the corporate media internationally to bolster their criminal back-to-work campaigns.

Protests by medical workers grow as hospitals overwhelmed across Mexico

By Andrea Lobo, 27 May 2020

The protests are part of an international wave of unrest among medical workers demanding personal protective equipment, medicines, respirators, testing and staffing.

Executives of vaccine developer Moderna cash in, cut corners

By Benjamin Mateus, 26 May 2020

In March, while the global economy was facing an implosion, CEO Stéphane Bancel became a billionaire based on the valuation of his nine percent stake in the publicly traded company.

Hydroxychloroquine: New scientific study refutes the quack-in-chief

By Benjamin Mateus, 23 May 2020

President Trump claimed this week he had been taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure. His statements demonstrate both ignorance and hostility to science.

New analysis predicts US coronavirus deaths will triple by end of year

By Bryan Dyne, 20 May 2020

There is evidence that the Florida government, and possibly others, are censoring the data needed to accurately study the development of the pandemic.

Capitalism vs. science: The lessons of the 36-hour Moderna vaccine frenzy

By Benjamin Mateus, 20 May 2020

It took just 36 hours for the media’s frenzied promotion of a “breakthrough” treatment for the coronavirus to collapse under its own weight.

US steps up witch hunt against Chinese scientists

By Shuvu Batta, 19 May 2020

The US federal government has arrested researchers and scientists of Chinese descent as part of an accelerated crackdown on alleged participants of China’s “Thousand Talents” program.

Spike in Kawasaki-like disease linked to coronavirus in France and Italy, one child dies

By Will Morrow, 18 May 2020

This is a damning indictment of capitalist governments internationally which are reopening schools and asserting that the virus does not harm children.

Malnutrition is leading cause of death and ill-health worldwide

By Jean Shaoul, 15 May 2020

A recent report confirms that various forms of malnutrition are the result of inequities in food distribution and health care systems but only hints at the criminal indifference of all national governments to these issues

The Trump administration vs. science

By Patrick Martin, 15 May 2020

The president’s attack on his top coronavirus advisor, Anthony Fauci, is part of an appeal to the most backward and reactionary forces to support the deadly policy of “reopening” the US economy.

The 2003 SARS epidemic: How Canada’s elite squandered the chance to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic

By Omar Ali, 15 May 2020

Canada’s disastrous response to the pandemic is all the more criminal given the impact of SARS and the repeated government vows that the country’s health system would be well-prepared for any future novel virus.

Kawasaki-like disease afflicting young children and teens after infection with SARS-CoV-2

By Benjamin Mateus, 13 May 2020

Around 100 children in New York may have been afflicted by complications of COVID-19 infection, now called Pediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome, with possibly five dead.

Governments globally reopen schools, ignoring scientists’ warnings of coronavirus impact on children

By Will Morrow, 11 May 2020

Governments see reopening schools as essential as a false symbol of a return to normal, and so that they can herd parents back into their workplaces.

Children in US and UK dying from syndrome linked to COVID-19

By Jacob Crosse, 9 May 2020

At least two children in the US and one in the UK have died from the newly identified Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, which is believed to be related to COVID-19.

With over 1 million coronavirus cases and 60,000 fatalities in the US, markets eager to get back to business

By Benjamin Mateus, 29 April 2020

The markets are clamoring for a rapid reopening of businesses, regardless of concerns about the impact of a second wave of the coronavirus.

Ugandan government touts malarial drug chloroquine as a COVID-19 cure

By Stephan McCoy, 15 April 2020

Uganda’s government has taken a leaf from US President Donald Trump’s playbook in promoting the untested drug as a potential lifesaver.

Science vs. Trump: The dangerous promotion of hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19

By Benjamin Mateus, 13 April 2020

Neither chloroquine nor hydroxychloroquine has been proven to deliver any benefit against the impact of the coronavirus.

World Health Organization warns against premature ending of social distancing measures

By Bryan Dyne, 8 April 2020

The warnings come as the number of deaths worldwide approaches 82,000 and the number of officially confirmed cases burst past 1.4 million.

An interview with four Chinese physicians at the epicenter of the pandemic in Wuhan

By Benjamin Mateus, 3 April 2020

Four doctors who went through the worst of the COVID-19 epidemic in China recently spoke with the WSWS about their experiences and the lessons for the wider world.

Statistical lies used to justify continued inaction, paint the US epidemic as nearly over

By Don Barrett, 2 April 2020

The US ruling class turns to bad statistics to justify its continued inaction and paint a picture that the worst is just ahead.

Research explains how the measles virus destroys immune “memory”

By Frank Gaglioti, 27 December 2019

The measles virus is particularly dangerous as it wipes out immunity previously acquired after exposure to other microbes in a process known as “immune amnesia.”

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded for research in cellular responses to oxygen

By Benjamin Mateus, 10 October 2019

Everyone understands the general need for oxygen, but how cells actually use it has not been well understood.

Bone marrow transplant removes HIV from a second patient

By Benjamin Mateus, 29 March 2019

The “London patient” will be considered cured if free of the virus for three to four more years.