As coronavirus-related deaths continue to accumulate worldwide, scientists rush to find a cure or even a vaccine to counter the effects of COVID-19, the virus that first emerged in mid-December in the province of Hubei, in China and that has unleashed a relentless pandemic.
President Donald Trump has expressed hopes that such a vaccine will be obtained in months. Scientists in Germany also work at full steam to synthesize a substance that manages to inoculate the population. But it is China, the country where the contagion emerged, that clinical studies point to a medicine that could be a hope of salvation for many.
This is favipiravir, a medicine created in Japan to treat the flu and that in clinical tests carried out in the Asian giant have shown to be effective in fighting COVID-19.
According to The Guardian, one of the newspapers that first began to report the crisis, Chinese medical authorities tested the drug on 340 patients and found that it reduces the recovery time of those who are infected and also improves the conditions of their lungs, which are the organs that are most damaged by this respiratory disease.
The tests occurred in the cities of Wuhan - the pandemic hub - and Shenzhen. Those who received controlled doses of the drug showed improvement in an average of four days, compared to the approximately eleven days that the average patient - and considered healthy, without chronic diseases - takes to regain health.
The United States Advertising Council (ADCouncil) has partnered with the White House and the Center for Communicable Disease Control (CDC) to provide information to the public about the coronavirus and help promote social distancing as a tool against contagion from COVID-19:
"There is a high degree of safety and it is clearly effective in treating [the coronavirus]," Zhang Xinmin, a spokesman for the Ministry of Science and Technology, told the Japanese network NHK.
The medicine is sold in Japan under the Avigan trade name and was developed in 2014 by Fujifilm Toyama Chemical. According to scientists, lung conditions improved 62 percent compared to patients who did not receive the treatment, according to Nikkei, a local Japanese media.
Logically they are preliminary tests and it will be necessary to make many more studies. At the moment the population is urged to follow the instructions of their federal and local authorities to avoid contagion.
If you need updated information about COVID-19, its symptoms, treatment, etc,. Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, which offers service in Spanish: www.cdc.gov/spanish/index.html
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