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Dr Linghang Wang, MD PhD, is Director of Infectious Diseases Emergency, and Deputy Director of the Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, at Beijing Ditan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
He has been working as a clinical doctor in Beijing Ditan Hospital since 1998. His research interests focus on the immunological mechanism and genetic determinants for the susceptibility and/or disease progression of various infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, influenza, Ebola and other infectious diseases.
His publications include papers in Clinical Infectious Diseases, Annals of Internal Medicine, and PlosOne.
First and foremost, are there any key leadership messages you want to get out to our readership?
We are dealing with a totally new pathogen and a global pandemic. In such a situation I think it is very important for the clinical leader to maintain critical thinking and a ‘big picture’ vision of the overall situation of the pandemic. This includes understanding the origin of the virus, the clinical characteristics and spectrum of the disease, the sensitivity and specificity of current diagnostic tests, and any potentially effective antiviral medicines, even while mobilising clinical colleagues to participate in the battle against the virus. Keeping the whole clinical team informed, safe and stable is a must-do for any clinical leader confronting a novel emerging infectious disease.
Tell us a little bit about your leadership role and how it is changing as a result of the pandemic?
I run the Emergency Department, and organise the day’s work in our Fever Clinic. Before the pandemic, each winter the biggest burden was influenza. We have rapid tests for this, to differentiate influenza from other causes of respiratory illness. Things started to change at the end of last year, when we heard of some pneumonia cases of unknown aetiology in Wuhan. I guessed the pathogen could be some kind of coronavirus, and because I know Wuhan has a strong medical system and a good virus research institute, I thought that …
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