COVID-19 treatment

Can coronavirus be cured?

Treatment of Coronavirus disease 2019

rRT-PCR test kit for COVID-19

Treatment of Coronavirus disease 2019 is mainly supportive care, which may include fluid, oxygen support, and supporting other affected vital organs. The WHO and CDC recommend that those who suspect they carry the virus wear a simple face mask. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been used to address the issue of respiratory failure, but its benefits are still under consideration.

Some medical professionals recommend paracetamol (acetaminophen) over ibuprofen for first-line use. The WHO does not oppose the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen for symptoms; currently there is no evidence that NSAIDs worsen COVID-19 symptoms. Steroids such as methylprednisolone are not recommended unless the disease is complicated by acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Steroid Sparks Hope and Skepticism

dexametazona

Preliminary results showing that a cheap steroid reduces the risk of death among gravely ill COIVD-19 patients is inspiring hope and skepticism.

The finding has not been peer-reviewed, but University of Oxford researchers announced the steroid dexamethasone—when given to patients on ventilators for up to 10 days—cut the risk of death by a third, CNN reports.

The risk of death for patients on oxygen but not on ventilators was reduced by a fifth, but the steroid made no difference among patients who didn’t require either.

But:

Polio Vaccine—A Temporary Solution?

poliovaccine

Could existing polio vaccines be used to fight coronavirus?

Researchers—including Robert Gallo, who helped discover HIV—are seeking funding to test their theory, making their case in Science this week.

They argue that live attenuated vaccines can trigger "interferon and other innate immunity mechanisms" to provide protection against unrelated pathogens.

In theory, a live polio vaccine then could possibly buy the body time to develop the right antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, NBC reports.

Red Flags Raised on Research

red flags raised

Two top medical journals are reviewing major studies they published on potential COVID-19 treatments (including hydroxychloroquine) after questions about their data surfaced yesterday, Science reports.

The papers in The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine shared a common source: A little-known company called Surgisphere.

Reasoning Beyond the Respiratory

Blood clots.

Blood clots. Purple toes. Kidney damage. Heart inflammation.

While COVID-19 is widely known as a respiratory illness, its roster of mysterious symptoms is pointing researchers to a surprising possibility—what if COVID-19 only begins as a respiratory infection, but ultimately becomes one that infects the blood vessels?

A Lancet paper published in April found that SARS-CoV-2 can launch vicious attacks on the lining of blood vessels.

WHO Pauses Hydroxychloroquine Trial

pills of hydroxychloroquine

The WHO paused hydroxychloroquine’s inclusion yesterday in a global trial of COVID-19 treatments, following Friday’s release of a study linking the drug to harmful outcomes, Politico reports.

The observational study, published in the Lancet, tied the use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in COVID-19 patients with a higher risk of death and increased frequency of heart arrhythmias.

COVID-19: New drug candidates, treatments offer reasons for hope

new drug

Every 2 weeks, Medical News Today rounds up the latest research results that may offer hope among the turmoil that is the COVID-19 pandemic. In our previous Special Feature, we looked at vaccine trials and antibody tests.

In this article, we cover the latest scientific discoveries, from antibodies and testing to drug candidates and potential treatments.

The Problem with Propofol

Propofol

Demand for propofol—the ubiquitous intravenous anesthetic—has skyrocketed since the drug became key to ventilating ICU patients with COVID-19.

But hospitals have seen stressful shortages.

Why?

An investigation tracking propofol’s notoriously opaque journey from production to patient care underscores the vulnerabilities of a supply chain that relies on a few countries for production—and now faces a global crisis.

Scientists identify promising drug candidates for COVID-19

COVID-19 tests

By mapping interactions between human proteins and the new coronavirus, researchers have pinpointed 29 potential treatments using drugs already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a wide range of other conditions.

There is currently no vaccine or antiviral drug with proven efficacy against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, though several clinical trials are underway.

Lack of in-depth knowledge about how the newly emerged virus interacts with human cells has hampered the hunt for an effective treatment.

Remdesivir explained – what makes this drug work against viruses?

Remdesivir

With the FDA approving Gilead’s Remdesivir as an emergency use treatment for the most acute cases of COVID-19, many people are wondering what type of a drug it is.

Remdesivir is a member of one of the oldest and most important classes of drugs – known as nucleoside analogue. Currently there are more than 30 of these types of drugs that have been approved for use in treating viruses, cancers, parasites, as well as bacterial and fungal infections, with many more currently in clinical and preclinical trials.

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