Currently, the novel coronavirus has affected the lives of millions of people around the world. Moreover, there is still a high risk of contracting this disease through community transmission. Yet there is no proper vaccine that can protect people from the effects of coronavirus. Researches all around the world are working relentlessly to create a vaccine. Additionally, they are also carrying out multiple clinical trials to develop a potential cure for the novel coronavirus.
Typically, COVID-19 causes symptoms that are similar to common cold or flu, such as cough, fever, headache, and fatigue. Although many doctors are following an antiviral approach, there is no definite line of treatment for the novel coronavirus. Today’s article will focus on the current treatment trails that are going for COVID-19. Furthermore, we will look at the preventive measures to stay away from the infection spread.
Is there any treatment available for COVID – 19?
Currently, there is no definite cure for COVID-19. The doctors are treating the infection with the same line of treatment as they follow to address a common cold. Supportive therapies are being given for patients with more severe symptoms which includes –
- Hydration with IV fluids to minimize the risk of dehydration
- Medications to reduce fever
- Supplemental oxygen for people with breathing difficulties
COVID-19 is a virus and therefore an antibiotic course will do no good in treating the infection. There is no preventive vaccine as well, which could be used to build resistance against the disease. However, many medical trials are going on to find the best possible treatment against COVID-19.
Medical trials that are being used to treat COVID-19
Currently, many medical trials are being carried out around the world to build a vaccine and a treatment for the novel coronavirus. Some clinical trials have revealed that certain medications have the potential to treat the symptoms effectively.
However, there is a need to perform randomized control trials to develop proper human vaccines and treatment for coronavirus, which can take several months and years as well. (1) Some of the current treatment trials being used for COVID-19 are as follows –
It is typically used to treat malaria and autoimmune diseases. However, many researchers have found chloroquine to fight the novel coronavirus in clinical trials effectively carried out in test tubes. Currently, around ten clinical trials have been performed, making chloroquine a potential drug for combating COVID-19. (2)
This is an experimental broad-spectrum antiviral drug. It was initially developed to treat the symptoms of the Ebola virus. However, researchers have found that remdesivir effectively fights against the novel coronavirus in isolated cells. The clinical trials are still going on in the lab for testing. However, it is not yet approved for a human trial.
Lopinavir and ritonavir
Both the drugs are sold under the name Kaletra, which were designed to treat HIV. The combination of the two was first tried on a 54-year-old man in South Korea. The treatment showed a significant reduction in the level of the virus. (3) The WHO supports this trial and proposes to use it in combination with other drugs to treat the novel coronavirus.
It is an antiviral drug that has been used in China to treat the symptoms of coronavirus. It effectively works in reducing the inflammation around the nose and throat. There are clinical trials ongoing for favilavir to determine its potential in fighting against COVID-19.
It was first developed in the early 2000s to treat SARS infections in China. Typically this drug consists of a protein called ACE2, which helps to protect the lungs from injury caused by respiratory distress. The same protein has been found in the infected cells of people with COVId-19.
Although there are n clinical trials that started with APN01 against COVId-19, researchers are planning to carry out randomized controlled trials to determine the efficacy of the medication.
What should you do if you feel sick?
Getting sick during the pandemic is one of the most dreadful situations. Although many carriers of the novel coronavirus develop symptoms over time, they may also recover on their own if they have good immunity. COVID-19 causes severe illness in older adults with underlying health conditions like lung and heart disease. Nevertheless, you can follow the protocol given below to control the severity of the infection –
- Call your doctor and discuss your symptoms. Moreover, take proper guidance on combating the symptoms of the infection. The local authorities will assess your health condition and may ask you to get tested.
- Stay home under isolation. This will not only allow you to have plenty of rest but also protect other people from the spread of infection.
- Try to figure out how you became sick – Track your travel history and risk of exposure. Find out how likely you might have come in contact with the novel coronavirus.
The WHO revealed that around 80% of the people recover from coronavirus without having to be hospitalized or undergone a special treatment. (4) However, call the medical emergency or visit a local hospital if you feel that your symptoms are worsening.
Coronavirus is a highly contagious disease which transmits from person to person through respiratory droplets or contaminated surfaces. At this point, the best way to stay protected is to follow the preventive measures as recommended by the CDC (5) –
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- You can also use a hand sanitizer that has 60% alcohol content
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth if you have not washed your hands
- Maintain social distancing by staying at least six feet apart from the people around you
- Stay at home and avoid crowded areas
Take away message
Currently, no vaccine may protect you from the spread of the novel coronavirus. Moreover, there is no definite line of treatment to minimize the symptoms of COVID-19 effectively. However, researchers are performing several clinical trials to determine the best possible cure for this deadly viral infection.
Several medications like chloroquine, lopinavir, ritonavir, and remdesivir are being tested for treating the symptoms of the novel coronavirus. The best way for healthy individuals is to follow the preventive measures and stay protected from the viral spread. People who feel sick must gauge the level of their sickness and take help from the local health authorities to get tested.