Coronavirus cure hope as drug used to fight flu helps patients recover
A drug being used to combat strains of the flu has also been effective in coronavirus patients, it has been claimed.
Favipiravir has been used in clinical trials in Wuhan and Shenzhen, China, involving 340 coronavirus patients.
People given the medicine in Shenzhen showed greater chest improvement compared to those who did not receive it.
Doctors in Japan are using the same drug – also known as Avigan – on coronavirus patients with mild to moderate symptoms in a bid to prevent the spread of the disease, The Guardian reports.
However, a health ministry official claims it is not as effective on those with severe symptoms.
The source told Japanese media: “We’ve given Avigan to 70 to 80 people, but it doesn’t seem to work that well when the virus has already multiplied.”
They all claimed the drug could be approved as early as May, adding: “But if the results of clinical research are delayed, approval could also be delayed.”
In 2016, Japan’s government used favipiravir to fight the Ebola outbreak in Guinea.
Earlier this week, an Australian doctor claims his team may have found a cure for the virus.
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Professor David Paterson is hoping to have patients enrolled to trial the drug by the end of March, according to reports.
He told news.com.au: "It's a 'potentially effective treatment' that should be considered for a large scale medical trial immediately.
"What we want to do at the moment is a large clinical trial across Australia, looking at 50 hospitals, and what we're going to compare is one drug, versus another drug, versus the combination of the two drugs."
According to the report, it centres around two drugs. The first is used to suppress HIV, while another is an anti-malaria treatment.
Paterson described it as a potential "treatment or cure".
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