COVID-19

Researchers say they have first evidence of a drug that can improve COVID-19 survival

Michelle Roberts and Alex Schroeder Jun 16, 2020
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Jeenah Moon/Getty Images
COVID-19

Researchers say they have first evidence of a drug that can improve COVID-19 survival

Michelle Roberts and Alex Schroeder Jun 16, 2020
Heard on:
Jeenah Moon/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Researchers in England say they have the first evidence that a drug can improve COVID-19 survival: A cheap, widely available steroid called dexamethasone reduced deaths by up to one-third in severely ill hospitalized patients.

The medical trials in the United Kingdom have raised hopes of a major step forward in the treatment of patients who are seriously ill. It’s a major breakthrough after many trials looking to find a treatment that can help with severe symptoms.

Co-lead investigator and Oxford University professor Peter Horby of the Randomized Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) trial said the following in a statement:

“Dexamethasone is the first drug to be shown to improve survival in COVID-19. This is an extremely welcome result. The survival benefit is clear and large in those patients who are sick enough to require oxygen treatment, so dexamethasone should now become standard of care in these patients. Dexamethasone is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide.”

This drug seems to dampen down the body’s immune response to the coronavirus. Some who are infected fight off the coronavirus and don’t need to go to the hospital, but others get very sick, struggle to breathe and need oxygen or a ventilator. It’s these patients, who require respiratory support, that the drug seems to really help.

With reporting from The Associated Press

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