There hasn’t been a lot of news surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic recently. Sure, there’s a story here and there, but most news coverage has been aimed at the riots and protests. This COVID update, however, could quite literally be life-changing.
It's very encouraging to see some of the new dexamethasone randomized trial results for survival benefit in #COVID19 patients requiring ventilator or respiratory supporthttps://t.co/Q0E93F3824 @PeterHorby @MartinLandray @Oxford_NDPH a bit surprising given frequent empiric use pic.twitter.com/JN16P6iqfC
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) June 16, 2020
Dexamethasone, a low dose steroid, has been widely tested among coronavirus patients and the results have led to a major breakthrough in the fight against COVID-19. It’s especially beneficial for patients on ventilators, as it cuts the risk of death down by one-third. For those on oxygen, the risk was cut by 20%.
Maybe the best part about this drug is that it’s available around the entire world and it’s relatively cheap. Prof. Martin Landray, lead researcher for Oxford University, estimated the cost at £35, or about $40, to save a life.
According to Chief Medical Officer for England, Prof. Chris Whitty, about 19 out of 20 people recover from the virus without needing medical attention. Those who are admitted to hospitals often recover without the need for a ventilator or oxygen treatment. Dexamethasone is used for those high-risk patients that need these treatments.
The drug doesn’t appear to help those suffering from mild symptoms or patients who don’t need help with breathing. An antiviral drug known as Remdesivir has also appeared to shorten recovery time and is being made available on the NHS. Finally, there’s some good news regarding the fight against COVID-19.
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