As Coronavirus infections continue to rise worldwide, researchers and scientists are on the frontline to find a solution to this pandemic. Coronavirus is the name given to a family of viruses that cause a wide range of respiratory infections. Although these viruses also cause MERS and SARS, Coronavirus is the most dangerous and it is a threat to the whole world.
Although the majority of individuals tested for COVID-19 in the UAE do not exhibit any symptoms, others might have a sore throat, cough, and a slight fever. Others might temporarily lose their senses of taste or smell.
How Coronavirus Spreads
Although COVID-19 started at Wuhan province in China, it has spread across the world. Different countries are at various stages, for instance, when cases of COVID-19 are imported. This means that there are no infections locally. Only those who have traveled to other countries are infected.
Coronavirus can also be spread locally. This is where close acquaintances and relatives are infected by those who recently traveled abroad. The other stage is community transmission where even those who have not been in contact with infected persons are infected. Also, those who have no record of travel to affected countries test positive for the virus. The last stage is where the virus becomes a pandemic. It becomes difficult to control the spread and many people are infected.
What’s in Development?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Vaccines take time to develop and to test to ensure that they are safe for humans. However, pharmaceutical companies across the globe are working to develop COVID-19 medication. Below are some of the clinical trials underway or expected to commence to deal with COVID-19.
Antivirals are used to treat viral diseases like the Flu. Clinics in Dubai and across the world know that these drugs don’t kill viruses. They hinder the production of new viruses in your body. They can work effectively by lessening complications and reducing the length of the disease. Because Coronavirus is new, researchers have not yet found an antiviral that fights it. However, they are testing existing antivirals to determine if any can work against COVID-19.
Some organizations are experimenting with monoclonal antibodies to determine the effects they will have on COVID-19. These are engineered antibodies used in cancer treatment and other conditions.
Drugs like sarilumab and tocilizumab are used to treat autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers are studying such drugs to see if they can be used to deal with severe cases of COVID-19. In severe cases, patients experience an intense immune reaction which is also known as a cytokine storm.
Remdesivir is an antiviral drug that was initially created to deal with the Ebola Virus. Many pharmaceutical companies are looking into whether this drug can aid in the development of a drug against Coronavirus. However, remdesivir is only available as intravenous medication, which means research studies can only be done in hospital settings.
Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine
It might surprise you to find out that your favorite clinic in Dubai has actually used these drugs before to treat autoimmune disorders like lupus and malaria prevention. Although there is no clinical evidence of the effectiveness of these drugs to treat Coronavirus, some physicians are using them based on the results of test-tube studies. Current clinical trials are checking whether these drugs can be used to prevent viral infections or slow them down.
Convalescent Blood Plasma Therapy
This therapy has been used to successfully treat other pandemic outbreaks in the past including SARS. This treatment method utilizes serum or blood plasma of individuals who have recovered from COVID-19. This boosts the immunity of newly infected persons and those at risk of getting infected.
When you get a certain virus and get better, it means that your immune system has produced antibodies to fight the virus. Doctors have used this therapy over several years in treatment. The antibodies in the blood’s serum can easily attach to and neutralize the Coronavirus.
This drug combination is used successfully against viruses such as HIV. It works like remdesivir by acting as a barrier for major viral proteins. This drug shows potential against SARS-COV-2 (which causes COVID-19) in lab cells and also in mice. This drug combination is being tested hand-in-hand with another antiviral drug known as interferon beta. This drug is used to treat multiple sclerosis and can also be utilized to boost the body’s immunity against COVID-19.
Developing a cure for Coronavirus is crucial, not only to deal with the pandemic but to also understand and prepare for future pandemics. We need to ask different questions and studies need to be conducted. Research should be done across the globe and we should all feel responsible to stop the spread of Coronavirus. Although there is currently no cure, pharmaceutical companies are looking into several possibilities.