Coronavirus News Asia

Covid contenders: Viral drugs that offer hope

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“Frankly Scarlett I don’t give a damn!” — Rhett Butler, Gone With The Wind

As of this writing, the virus has infected more than two million people worldwide and caused more than 130,000 deaths … and counting.

Frankly, at this point in time, and to quote Rhett Butler, no one gives a damn what the cure is or where it comes from, but they must find something, and fast.

Critics can mock President Donald Trump for mentioning malaria drugs all they want, but if actually does work, who cares. Shut up, and take a backseat to science.

The good news is the World Health Organization (WHO) recently launched a large international trial called Solidarity to test four existing therapies, Tanya Lewis of Scientific American reported.

They are the previously mentioned malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine; the antiviral medication remdesivir (developed to treat Ebola); the antiviral combination of lopinavir and ritonavir (used for HIV); and those two HIV drugs plus the anti-inflammatory small protein interferon beta.

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved remdesivir for treating Covid-19 patients under the compassionate-use protocol. And the agency has granted an emergency use authorization for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.

“None of these therapies are proven,” says Stanley Perlman, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Iowa.

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