The coronavirus crisis has triggered the worst global recession in nearly a century. The pain is still not over yet and has taken its toll by deeply impacting the normal lives of people. The current priority of the global community is to stop the COVID-19 pandemic in its tracks; to halt its rapid transmission and reverse the trend of global distress.
Most people have been inflicted with COVID-19 and have recovered or recovering at home with the same treatment followed as for flu. These include getting enough rest, staying hydrated, and taking medications to relieve fever, aches, and pain. In severe cases of Covid-19- patients gasping for breaths are ventilated through oxygen and are under supportive treatment.No drugs or biologics have been approved by the FDA for the prevention or treatment of COVID19. Remdesivir (antiviral drug) gained emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA on May 1, 2020, based on preliminary data showing a faster time to recovery of hospitalized patients with severe disease
The doctrine behind any antiviral drug, to target the specific part of a virus’s life cycle that is necessary for it to reproduce. Besides, an antiviral drug is effective when it mutilates the virus only and not the normal cell. Remdesivir was developed to treat several viral diseases including the Ebola virus. It works by inhibiting the ability of the coronavirus to replicate. However, a well-designed study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May 2020, has achieved promising results. The study concluded that patients who received remdesivir recovered more quickly from coronavirus. The medical experts and researchers across the globe are making continuous strenuous efforts to find a cure for the highly infectious contagion. The highly controversial anti-malaria drug HCQ (Hydrochloroquine), lopinavir, ritonavir have not been approved by the FDA for Covid-19 treatment.
Convalescent plasma (plasma from recovered patients) — has been used for more than 100 years to treat a variety of illnesses from measles to polio, chickenpox, and SARS. In the current situation, antibody-containing plasma from a recovered patient is given by transfusion to a coronavirus patient. The donor antibodies help the patient fight the illness, reducing the severity. On March 24th, the FDA approved for convalescent plasma to be used in patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections. Although still in experimental stages.The following are the plasma donor criteria.
History of Covid-19 tested positive, recovered, and asymptomatic for 14 days and COVID-19 test negative. currently test negative for COVID-19. A donor and patient must also have compatible blood types with enough antibody titer. Each donor produces enough plasma to treat one to three patients. One should be aware that donating plasma does not hamper the donor’s immune system and is not prone to reinfection. Moreover, to add to the latest updates, Solidarity is an international clinical trial to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19, launched by the World Health Organization and partners. The Solidarity Trial compares options against the standard of care, to assess their relative effectiveness against COVID-19. By enrolling patients in multiple countries, the Solidarity Trial aims to rapidly discover treatments to decrease the progression or improve survival. WHO warns physicians and medical associations recommending or administering these unproven treatments lacking clinical evidence to patients with COVID-19. The best way to save lives and ease off the panic button would be to find a treatment for coronavirus infections for which we are still running the race to win over. I would just like to summarise by few words well said by Frank Herbert
“Survival is the Ability To Swim in Strange Water”