NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Covid-19 caught the world off guard.

“We have never seen this before, and that’s why it’s racing through the human population as it is,” said infectious disease expert, Dr. James Hildreth President & CEO of Nashville’s Meharry Medical College.

“It originates in bats, but bats and humans are so far apart that bat viruses can not infect us directly. We don’t know what the intermediate species is for Covid-19, but there almost most certainly is,” explained Hildreth.

It’s a realization that scientists around the world recognized early on.

In fact, Dr. Hildreth credits scientists from China for releasing information about the scientific makeup of the Covid-19 virus.

That type of information sharing doesn’t typically happen.

In doing so, scientist from around the world have been researching treatments even in Tennessee at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Dr. Hildreth said, “We can take supercomputers and reproduce proteins of the virus in cyberspace and take drugs that have been reproduced in cyberspace and literally screen 100s or thousands of drugs to see which ones will doc with the protein. They’ve identified at least 70 drugs that have the potential to treat Covid-19.”

While creating an effective vaccine may take decades, Dr. Hildreth said scientists around the world are working tirelessly, as one community, to find a mid-term solution.

“We believe, that in a matter of a few weeks to a few months, there will be several drugs that can be tried and tested, for their effectiveness for this disease,” said Hildreth says.

As far as immediate steps, Dr. Hildreth pleads we all must do our part to flatten the curve, “we all have to rely on each other to protect the entire population.”