Coronavirus has spread like a bushfire and is unstoppable. Over 350 people in India alone have been tested positive for COVID-19 virus and among these, there have been around 6 deaths confirmed as we write right now. While there have been so many issues erupting for people, there are now many research studies and other things taking place to find a treatment and vaccine for the virus. However, now there has been a breakthrough in the case.
A French study has confirmed that a combination of anti-malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and Azithromycin are effective in treating COVID-19 patients. The study was published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents and revealed that combining these elements can actually help in combatting and treating the virus.
Philippe Gautreta, et. al in Marseille, France, conducted and led the study. It showed that 100% of patients that received a combination of HCQ and Azithromycin tested negative and were virologically treated within 6 days of treatment. “Among hydroxychloroquine-treated patients six patients received azithromycin (500mg on day1 followed by 250mg per day, the next four days) to prevent bacterial super-infection under daily electrocardiogram control,” the team said.
Twenty-eight countries/regions have reported confirmed cases, including mainland China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Malaysia, Germany, Vietnam, the USA, Macao SAR, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, France, the Philippines, the UK, Italy, India, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Nepal, Spain and Belgium. China has had the largest number of patients with COVID-19, followed by Singapore. Asia has had most of the reported cases, followed by Europe, North America and Australia, but no cases have been reported in Africa.
As per a journal published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, here are some images of the demographics as in the early March.
So, what are the treatment options available to us all now? There have been many advances to find out the most effective ways to treat Coronavirus as there is still no cure or vaccine for this disease. According to recent reports, >85% of patients received antiviral agents, including oseltamivir (75 mg every 12 h orally), ganciclovir (0.25 g every 12 h intravenously) and lopinavir/ritonavir tablets (400/100 mg twice daily orally). Empirical antibiotics were prescribed for 90% of patients in three reports, and according to one study 15 patients (15%) received antifungal agents. Five cases (5.1%) of bacterial (n = 1) or Candida (n = 4) co-infections were reported among 99 patients in one study, and 4 cases (9.8%) of secondary bacterial infections were reported in another study of 41 patients. Although intravenous immunoglobulin and systemic steroids have been used in several reports, their efficacy and associated adverse effects remain unclear.
While these medicines have been used and new medicines like the combination of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and Azithromycin are being used for the treatment of Coronavirus, the only way to stop it is to isolate yourself at your home and make sure not to go out. You should maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands, and within healthcare facilities enhanced standard infection prevention and control practices are recommended in hospitals, especially in emergency departments.