Dr. Yager is widely published with extensive expertise in microbiology, virology, immunology, vaccine biology, genetics, biomedical laboratory techniques and flow cytometry. His research focuses on human diseases caused by enveloped RNA viruses including COVID-19, influenza, AIDS, and congenital Zika syndrome, and the relationship between viruses and human cells which has the potential to lead to improved therapeutics and vaccines against these diseases. Dr. Yager is a regular guest on WAMC-FM (National Public Radio) https://www.wamc.org/post/coronavirus-doctor-eric-yager-83120, and has also served as an infectious disease expert for outlets ranging from Healthline (https://tinyurl.com/y42kxrzy) to Spectrum News (https://tinyurl.com/y5hdge7x).
There are a few welcome biological differences between the coronavirus and previous pandemics, according to Eric Yager, PhD, an associate professor of microbiology at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. For example, influenza viruses mutate quickly, adapting to their hosts and gaining the ability to evade our immune system, he tells Reader’s Digest. This was the case with the 1918 flu pandemic. Though the first wave of the virus in March wasn’t that bad, the second wave, which hit in the fall, was more lethal, Yager explains. But coronaviruses mutate at a much slower rate than influenza viruses, and Yager says that scientists speculate that the odds of this novel coronavirus mutating to become more contagious or lethal is low.