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Patient successfully treated for coronavirus in the US

Published on 11/02/20 at 09:45am

Health officials in the US say they have successfully treated a man for coronavirus with an experimental drug.

The Ebola drug Remdesivir, made by Gilead Sciences, was given to an American who is 35 years old. The doctors reported that on 26 January his condition seemed to improve within a day, and by 30 January it had resolved most of the symptoms except a cough.

However, Gilead feel this is not conclusive proof that it's an effective treatment. Ryan McKeel, a spokesperson for the company, said: “We do not have an appropriately robust understanding of the effect of this drug to warrant broad use at this time.”

Timoth Sheahan, Assistant Professor of epidemiology at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina, has also called for further research saying: “I think starting a clinical trial is essential for determining if this drug will work.”

Gilead has been providing the drug to Chinese researchers at no cost. It is being studied by a medical team at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing for efficacy in treating the coronavirus. It has been giving to a small number of patients with the disease.

One of the clinical trials will test remdesivir on infected patients who are in hospital without severe symptoms while the other will test it on people with severe infections who are on oxygen or have other complications. Patients will be assessed 28 days after treatment and will be compared to placebo groups.

Gilead had previously stockpiled the drug for the Ebola outbreak in 2014, but it failed its clinical trial.

Conor Kavanagh

 

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