To date there are no cures available for Coronavirus but there are various “treatments” that have proven positive in alleviating symptoms.
Coronavirus Treatments Used in Hospitals
There are no specific treatments for coronavirus as yet, though a number are in the works, including experimental antivirals, which can attack the virus, and existing drugs targeted at other viruses like HIV which have shown some promise in treating COVID-19.
Ramdesivir is an experimental antiviral. The drug has not yet been approved but is being used in the US, China and Italy mainly on critically ill patients. Ramdesivir stops part of the virus and prevents the virus from replicating. The effectiveness of this drug is still being debated. More studies and tests are required before it becomes a general treatment for COVID-19.
Favipiravir is a Japanese influenza drug. Trials have been done in Wuhan and Shenzhen on over 300 patients. The drug has been effective in shortening the course of COVID-19. Patients who were given the drug were cleared of the virus in just four days compared to eleven days with those who were not given favipiravir. The drug has been shown not to be effective in patients showing severe symptoms.
This is an HIV medicine and has been used in China as an experimental option to treat patients during the “early” days of fighting the virus. The drug has proven to be ineffective with adult patients with severe symptoms. No more studies were done with the Kaletra/Aluvia drug.
Chloroquine has been used to treat malaria for around 70 years. It is one of the most widely used drugs to treat coronavirus so far and seems to be a potential treatment. The drug is also being used in Mauritius on COVID-19 patients. Chloroquine appears to be able to block viruses from binding to human cells and getting inside them to replicate. It also stimulates the immune system. A Chinese study originating from Guangdong reports chloroquine improved patient outcomes and “might improve the success rate of treatment” and “shorten hospital stay.”
The trouble with chloroquine
Chloroquine phosphate, which is widely available, isn’t without its side effects, and health officials are warning against self-medicating. It can give you headaches, diarrhea, rashes, itching and muscle problems. It’s also used as an additive in fish tank cleaner. In rare cases, it seems to greatly affect the heart muscle and can result in abnormalities or heart failure.
Scientists use stem cells to treat Coronavirus patients in China. More than 100 COVID-19 patients at a hospital in Beijing are receiving injections of mesenchymal stem cells to help them fend off the disease. The experimental treatment is part of an ongoing clinical trial, which coordinators say has shown early promise in alleviating COVID-19 symptoms. However, other experts criticize the trial’s design and caution that there’s not sufficient evidence to show that the treatment works.
Coronavirus Home Remedies
Authorities have warned about self-medication to avoid making things worse if you have COVID-19 symptoms. If you have mild coronavirus symptoms, you can choose to stay home until you feel better. Here are a few things to do to relieve your symptoms.
- Rest and sleep
- Keep warm
- Drink plenty of liquids
- Use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough
Coronavirus Treatment Information from WHO
Are antibiotics effective in preventing or treating the COVID-19?
No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19. They should only be used as directed by a physician to treat a bacterial infection.
Are there any medicines or therapies that can prevent or cure COVID-19?
While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease. WHO does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19. However, there are several ongoing clinical trials that include both western and traditional medicines. WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings are available.
Is there a vaccine, drug or treatment for COVID-19?
Not yet. To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019. However, those affected should receive care to relieve symptoms. People with serious illness should be hospitalized. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care.
Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation. They are being tested through clinical trials. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19.
The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue, and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing.