Coronavirus FAQ: Is There A Treatment For Coronavirus?
There is no antiviral drug proven to be effective at treating coronavirus (COVID-19), but researchers have identified 50 drugs that could serve as a potential treatment for the virus.
Is There A Treatment For Coronavirus?
In some hospitals, doctors have begun experimenting with existing drugs like the antiviral drug oseltamivir, commonly known as Tamiflu. Michigan Tech virologist Ebenezer Tumban told Live Science that the drug seems to limit the virus’ reproduction which is surprising, given that Tamiflu was designed to attack an enzyme in the influenza virus, not in coronaviruses.
China has also claimed that their version of an antiviral drug designed to treat influenza, much like Tamiflu, has been proven effective in treating the novel coronavirus. Zhang Xinmin, an official at China’s science and technology ministry, said favipiravir, has shown promising results in a 340-patient clinical trial.
“It has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment,” Zhang told reporters on Tuesday.
Public broadcasting reported that Favipiravir caused coronavirus-positive patients to test negative after a median of four days, compared to a median of 11 days for those not treated with the drug. Additionally, 91% of patients treated with the drug saw improvements in their lung conditions compared to 62% who did not use the drug.
However, there is currently no proven coronavirus treatment available in the U.S., though the successful preliminary research indicates this could change soon.