Coronavirus Treatment: What’s the Latest News?

coronavirus-treatment-update

Since first reports of Coronavirus in late 2019, the virus has spread to many countries around the world and as the pandemic continues, people in Ireland and all over the world continue to ask the question, is there a coronavirus treatment? While there is no confirmed vaccine or treatment for Covid-19 yet, there has been some positive developments in this area, including treatment trials. Read on to find out the latest news and updates on this…

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that they are organising a solidarity trial in numerous countries in which some untested treatments for COVID-19 will be compared to each other to discover whether any are effective in treating the virus. This trial will be run from the WHO Headquarters and is expected to last from March 2020 until March 2021.

The trial is specifically for adults over the age of 18, hospitalised with COVID-19 and admitted to a collaborating hospital. The treatments involved in the study are remdesivir, chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir plus ritonavir, and interferon-beta. As part of the study, some of these treatments will be given as daily pills, and some as daily injections.

Patients who fit the above description and have consented to be part of the study will be randomly allocated to receive either standard care alone or standard care and one of the study drugs. The patients will be followed up for the entire length of their hospital stay. The effectiveness of the drugs will be determined by a number of variables including length of hospital stay and time to first receiving ventilation.

All of the drugs being used in the WHO solidarity trial have been shown to be reasonably safe. These drugs are used routinely to treat other conditions. All participants in the study will receive the usual care for people with COVID-19 in each location as well as the selected medication. While it is possible that one or more of the drugs may reduce the severity of COVID-19, the need for ventilation and the risk of death, as with any medical trial, there are also known side effects to each of the drugs. Find out more about the WHO solidarity trial, its potential risks and rewards here.

Main contacts for the WHO Solidarity Trial

Dr Ana Maria Henao Restrepo, henaorestrepoa@who.int

Dr Vasee Moorthy, moorthyv@who.int

Dr Marie-Pierre Preziosi, preziosim@who.int