Written by Trinity Torgerson (News Writer)
Many possible vaccines, antibodies and drugs are being researched into a possible cure for the coronavirus. No specific treatment has been confirmed to cure COVID-19 but many have become possible treatments for the future. In early April when the virus was found in China, an international group of scientists started studying the virus and reported results from different drugs tested to treat the disease. Harvard health has also been looking into cures since the world has been aware of the disease. Many different groups and corporations are looking into cures to stop the deadly disease and looking into how to either cause it to stop spreading or eradicate it.
An international group of scientists has come a long way since April and are making major progress in their studies. It was a small study to find a cure for COVID-19 and it was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine to help with ebola and they used it to see how it would affect coronavirus patients. Looking into and testing the drug led to studies that showed it helped 60% of people who had been using ventilators to help with breathing. The drug enabled patients to go into a stable condition and be able to get out of the hospital within 18 days of using the product. So far, repurposing drugs created to treat other diseases has been the best way to find a definite antidote to the disease. Doing this has been a great way to find a new therapy control to keep control of the world wide pandemic. Currently a research scientist at Vanderbilt University has been looking into how to turn a known drug hydroxychloroquine which has been used to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, and more- into a possible treatment to COVID-19.This treatment has also been tested by a scientist in China. The data in China has shown very promising results, but nothing has been conclusive. Infectious disease specialists, including those apart of president Trump’s coronavirus task force are not yet sold on the idea of releasing the agent to the world, for mass COVID-19 treatment. They believe that there is more research to be put into it, and be confirmed and that now is not a prime time to be releasing it into the worlds emergency rooms and intensive care units. Because this has been one of the more promising drugs, it is being looked into and could very well be the drug to help the world’s population with the virus.
Harvard medical school has many groups looking into different treatments or cures, and their research has led to the testing of convalescent plasma. This plasma has antibodies that have been found in patients that have recovered from COVID-19. This plasma has been used to treat different diseases for more than 100 years. The current method goes like this: antibodies from recovered patients are put into the patients who are currently suffering from the effects of the virus.. The antibodies that would be donated to the patient would the patient’s own immune system to fight the virus and very possibly shorten their time they have the virus or have to stay in the hospital.
However, the effects of the plasma have varied in many ways. Not much has been yet confirmed about how the plasma would benefit the patient with the virus health. In China there have been tests for the plasma and they have shown positive outcomes but no confirmed studies have been looked into to see what exactly we would need from it. There is also an uncertainty of when to insert the antibodies during the course of their illness. On March 24th the FDA approved of using the convalescent plasma to be used on coronavirus patients. However, they did that the plasma can only be used on patients with seriously bad or life threatening conditions. This treatment has been shown to be a viable possible cure but, is still classified as experimental.