The Strategist

WHO welcomes first drug to reduce mortality from COVID-19


06/17/2020 - 05:56



Head of the World Health Organization called results of a British study on the treatment of COVID-19 with dexamethasone "a life-saving scientific breakthrough".



Governor Tom Wolf via flickr
Governor Tom Wolf via flickr
Head of the World Health Organization called results of a British study on the treatment of COVID-19 with dexamethasone "a life-saving scientific breakthrough". Speaking in Geneva on Wednesday night, June 17, he congratulated the British government and Oxford University on the "great news."

According to the WHO’s Head, dexamethasone was the first drug to show "a decrease in mortality among patients with COVID-19 who need oxygen or a ventilator." For patients connected to ventilators, dexamethasone treatment showed a one-third reduction in mortality; the number was one-fifth for patients requiring oxygen only.

Moreover, an advantage was observed only in those patients who suffered from severe SARS; the effect of dexamethasone on patients with a milder form of the disease was not so effective.

A total of 2104 patients were enrolled in the Oxford University study. Another 4,000 people participated in the control study without receiving the drug. Scientists suggest that dexamethasone can be a "surprisingly cheap" means of combating the coronavirus pandemic and can prevent every eighth death in patients with acute symptoms provided daily use. The full results of the study have not been published yet.

Synthetic corticosteroid dexamethasone has been used since the 1960s; it has anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties, and is used, inter alia, in the treatment of cancer, allergies, arthritis and asthma. In 2017, dexamethasone was mentioned by Head of the independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Richard McLaren, when he was talking about a system for concealing doping in Russian football.

source: dw.de




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