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'No vaccine': how do doctors from different countries treat Chinese coronavirus

The Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak has claimed over 3000 lives in 11 countries. In addition to China, fatalities have been reported in Australia, Iran, Spain, Italy, the USA, Thailand, Taiwan, France, South Korea, Japan, and the Philippines. Writes about it with the BBC.

Photo: Shutterstock

However, at the same time, nearly 50 thousand people who were officially confirmed as coronavirus infection were cured.

For 14 consecutive days, the number of recovered patients has exceeded the number of newly reported cases.

At the same time, despite the efforts of scientists around the world, there is still no vaccine against the virus - and it is not expected for at least several more months.

Several companies in the USA and other countries conduct tests on mice and guinea pigs at once, but they will not begin to test the vaccine in humans until April, and they will be able to confirm the effectiveness and pass all bureaucratic formalities only by the end of the year.

So why are patients so successfully treated?

General Strategy: Arbidol

Since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, many medications have been tried to treat the infection - mostly symptomatic, that is, directed not against the disease itself, but against its typical manifestations.

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It should be noted that no specific symptoms Covid-19 does not - in this sense, the disease is not too different from any other respiratory viral infection such as a cold or flu, and in the same way can develop into pneumonia.

Almost all patients experience a fever, general weakness, and dry cough in 60% of patients. Approximately one in three complains of muscle pain and shortness of breath, although these symptoms appear approximately on the fifth day after the onset of the disease.

Headaches and sore throats were observed in only a few patients.

Mid-February Lancet Medical Journal posted a letter Chinese doctors who have developed their own algorithm for treating patients complaining of cough, chills, or sore throat. After a general blood test and computed tomography of the chest, patients are checked for viral pneumonia and the coronavirus itself.

If the result is negative, the patient is prescribed standard antibiotics - azithromycin or amoxicillin. If positive, the patient is isolated and treated with respiratory fluoroquinolones and arbidol.

In severe cases, if the blood oxygen saturation drops below 93%, nemonoxacin and the synthetic antibiotic linezolid, which are usually used to treat resistant infections, are added to therapy.

Experimental therapy

As mentioned above, all these drugs are aimed only at eliminating the general symptoms of the disease. There is still no specific therapy for Covid-19, however, its development is in full swing.

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In mid-February, Chinese doctors found that fight effectively Chloroquine, a drug widely used to prevent and treat malaria, helps with coronavirus. Now they want to include it in the official recommendations for the treatment of patients with Covid-19.

A few more drugs pass now clinical trials. One of them is umifenovir (the same arbidol): doctors are trying to understand how effective it is in the fight against coronavirus infection.

Two other potential drugs are lopinavir, which is commonly used to treat HIV patients, and remdesivir, originally developed for the treatment of Ebola and Marburg virus.

The last remedy that Chinese doctors are using in an attempt to save almost hopeless patients is blood plasma injections from already recovered patients.

In exactly the same way, in 2003 they tried to treat severe cases of SARS SARS, and quite successfully. In this connection, in 2014 WHO recommended use similar injections to treat Ebola, and a year later, the Middle East virus MERS.

Traditional medicine

More than 85% of all confirmed cases of coronavirus were recorded in China. So, along with the usual medicines, almost all hospitalized patients were prescribed drugs of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

In total, according to the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, TCM treatment was more than 60 thousand peoplewho have been confirmed with Covid-19.

According to local media reports, patients undergoing both types of treatment concurrently recover better than those who take only “conventional” medications. In the city of Hangzhou, for example, an 88-year-old patient who was hospitalized in critical condition was cured in this way.

The TCM treatment formula was developed at the Eighth People's Hospital in Guangzhou, recognized by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Guangdong Province, and officially approved by the regional authorities.

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Yu Jianhua, Head of the TBM Unit, Hangzhou Infectious Diseases Hospital, рассказалthat his patients take two traditional drugs: one helps to get rid of sputum in the lungs, the other fights with inflammation.

It is especially effective to treat patients with Covid-19 with the Qingfei Paidu medicine - along with the main therapy, сообщает Xinhua News Agency with reference to the head doctor of one of the Beijing hospitals Wang Ronbin.

This traditional preparation is made on the basis of medicinal herbs and other plants, which include Chinese apricot and licorice root.

Read the latest news and everything you need to know about the outbreak of a new coronavirus from China. ForumDaily special project “Chinese Coronavirus”.

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