Coronavirus Treatment May Be Available Soon

While the vaccine is expected to take 12 to 18 months, there may be other therapies available for the deadly COVID-19, which should be ready in a couple of months. So far, there are approximately 462,558 coronavirus cases worldwide with approximately 20,878 deaths – 113,802 people have recovered.

Although no vaccine exists yet, researchers are working hard for it. More than 20 vaccines are in development all over the world, and therapeutics are in clinical trials. These vaccines will have to undergo several rounds of testing and clinical trials before moving into mass production.  A prominent virologist and dean of the Baylor College of Medicine’s National School of Tropical Medicine in Houston, Texas, says the earliest treatment that may work is a convalescent serum antibody therapy where the antibodies of individuals that have recovered are injected into the sick patient. This treatment approach could save lives but the challenge remains to scale-up this method for the masses.

Back in 2014, a study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, shows how convalescent blood plasma could be effective to reduce mortality rates when administered to those experiencing severe acute respiratory infections right after the first symptoms appear.

In 2002-2004, Prof. Peter Jay Hotez, a prominent virologist dean of the Baylor College of Medicine’s National School of Tropical Medicine in Houston, Texas, had developed a coronavirus vaccine after the 2002-2004 SARS outbreak, which had also spread out of China killing more than 770 people all over the world. However, by the time it was manufactured, people lost interest in coronavirus epidemics and pandemics. Thus, Hotez was unable to secure further funding. Researchers are currently working to repurposing that vaccine for COVID-19.

The good news is that antiviral treatments should be available in several months, which is much sooner than the vaccine. Keep in mind, a vaccine would have to undergo a lengthy testing period with several phases of clinical trials. The next treatment to emerge is most likely to repurpose existing antiviral drugs in the next several weeks or months, new chemical drugs in a year, and a vaccine in one to three years.

Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva, is donating over six million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate pills across USA hospitals for further research purposes. While this medicine is used to treat malaria, it’s a good candidate to counter COVID-19.

Early symptoms of the coronavirus can appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. The virus can have a devastating effect on your body, not just the lungs. For future purposes, researchers say they should come up with a new COVID-19 vaccine since it mutates like influenza. The coronavirus is so new, so the immune system is defenseless against it. We will eventually teach the body how to fight it.

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