Coronavirus As revealed by Oxford University
There has been some positive news in the fight against coronavirus, as a readily available drug has been shown to reduce coronavirus-related deaths.
While this is not a vaccine for COVID-19, it is certainly a step in the right direction.
Scientists at Oxford University have announced that low-dose dexamethasone steroid treatment can help those who have been hospitalised due to coronavirus.
Dexamethasone treatment has been tested on 6,000 patients in Britain and has shown that this low-cost steroid can significantly reduce deaths in hospitalised patients.
It is now known that after the study on those 6,000 patients, it reduced deaths by one-third in those patients already on assisted ventilation, and by one-fifth in patients on oxygen-only treatment. The drug has not shown any benefit for patients with milder symptoms.
In fact, with the data from the study, the researchers believe that if the drug had been used to treat patients in the United Kingdom since the beginning of the pandemic, up to 5,000 lives could have been saved.
Dexamethasone is already used to reduce inflammation in other conditions.
Its mission is to help stop some of the damage that can occur when the body’s immune system is overloaded while trying to fight coronavirus.
Britain’s health secretary, Matt Hancock, said NHS doctors would start to treat patients with dexamethasone, starting on Tuesday, June 16.
Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid, that is, it is similar to a natural hormone produced by the adrenal glands.
It is usually used to replace this chemical when the body does not make enough.
It relieves inflammation (swelling, heat, redness, and pain) and is used to treat certain forms of arthritis; disorders of the skin, blood, kidney, eyes, thyroid, and intestines (e.g., colitis); severe allergies; and asthma.
Dexamethasone is also used to treat certain types of cancer.