WHO: Some coronavirus treatments show signs of limiting disease's severity, length

WHO: Some coronavirus treatments show signs of limiting disease's severity, length
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The World Health Organization said Tuesday that some treatments have shown promise in limiting the severity and length of coronavirus cases, and that it is prioritizing a handful that show particular signs of promise.

“We do have some treatments that seem to be in very early studies limiting the severity or the length of the illness but we do not have anything that can kill or stop the virus,” spokeswoman Margaret Harris said in a briefing Tuesday, Reuters reported.

“We do have potentially positive data coming out but we need to see more data to be 100 percent confident that we can say this treatment over that one,” she added, but said more research was forthcoming and did not name any of the treatments under review.

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The comment comes after the Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency authorization to Gilead’s antiviral remdesivir, which the company said has led to positive outcomes in coronavirus patients.

Meanwhile, a Hong Kong trial also showed three antivirals in combination helped relieve mild to moderate coronavirus infections and rapidly reduced the amount of virus present in patients’ bodies, according to Reuters.

The Hong Kong researchers gave subjects a combination of hepatitis drug ribavirin, multiple sclerosis treatment interferon beta and HIV drug lopinavir-ritonavir, while a control group was only given the latter.

The comment came the same day as a report that White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx told other members of the federal coronavirus task force that mistakes had been made in the initial distribution of remdesivir and that the allocation strategy will be reviewed.

“We can later review the decision-making process, the lack of engagement of Task Force, and the methodology and analysis used by the data and modeling group that resulted in the misalignment of the therapeutic and on-the-ground current need in the first shipment so we can be assured this doesn’t occur in the future,” Birx wrote.