COVID-19: THE Treatment

So, you have COVID-19....now what?

While there's no official cure or vaccine for COVID-19, there has been news of various treatments circulating in the media, regardless of whether they're effective or not. 

 

Here's all that you need to know about the different treatments you've been hearing about everywhere.​​​

Ventilators

Since the COVID-19 virus directly affects the respiratory system, some patients may experience difficulty breathing. Ventilators are hospital machines that aid patients with breathing by essentially pumping oxygen into the body.​ It can't cure COVID-19, but it helps patients survive longer.​​​ This is why they are essential in cities with high infection rates. 

Convalescent Plasma Treatment

This treatment focuses on using plasma from the blood of those who have recovered from COVID-19. Since recovered patients have already developed antibodies to fight COVID-19, in theory, transferring some of the antibodies to ill patients may help their bodies fight off the virus. There have been reported successful recovery cases stemming from this treatment, but due to the lack of controlled studies, it is still considered an experimental treatment. It has been authorized only to be used in serious & life-threatening cases.​​

Hydroxychloroquine & Azitrhomycin

​This combination of medication ​has recently become a very popular topic in the media. have been reports of improvements in patients in France & China, assumed to be a direct result of this treatment. In laboratory dishes, outside of human bodies, does seem to effectively kill the virus. However, despite President Trump's comments, both the NIH & the FDA recommend that this combination of medication be avoided. Recent human studies show that this combination has virtually no benefits, & it can in fact cause death due to lethal heart rhythm abnormalities. 

Remdesivir

Remdesivir is an anti-viral drug first developed to combat the Ebola virus. Previous studies have shown that the drug is capable of also inhibiting the viruses that cause SARS & MERS. Early studies in laboratory dishes (non-human subjects) have found that it potentially may be capable of preventing cells from infection by the COVID-19 virus. However, there is no guarantee that this drug may be capable of treating COVID-19 in human subjects. Clinical trials for this drug on COVID-19 are currently underway in both China & the USA. 

Vitamin C

Some hospitals have begun treating critically ill patients with high doses of vitamin C. The hope is that the vitamin will help boost the immune system's strength & consequently speed up recovery, but there is no evidence as of now that this is a viable treatment. There are currently studies underway in China to determine whether vitamin C is effective against COVID-19. In terms of prevention, taking vitamin C supplemental tablets most likely will not prevent infection, but it won't harm you either. However, high doses should be avoided since they can cause cramps, nausea, & an increased risk of kidney stones.

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