43.6 million people in the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, with 8.82 million of them being in the U.S. Out of the millions that stared this disease down, 226,000 Americans never made it home, and that number grew to 1.16 million worldwide. With health officials predicting a second, more robust wave, how are we progressing in COVID treatments and vaccines? Even with the world continuing to exist through the pandemic with mask laws, remote learning, and the 2020 election, many are eager to see if hope is on the horizon that will return us to a sense of normalcy.
The Virus: Then and Now
The lessons we’ve learned since the coronavirus swept the nation by storm have been influential in the treatment and recovery of those affected. We balked at the lack of available ventilators when the numbers rose. Now, doctors only use them as a last resort. They are learning to tolerate lower oxygen levels, and laying patients on their bellies has been a helpful alternative than further damaging the lungs by adding pressure to them with a ventilator.
Treatments like dexamethasone and convalescent plasma are some other methods that are paving the way for the survival of more patients. Dexamethasone reduces the risk of deaths in the sickest COVID-19 patients. Convalescent plasma is made from the blood of those previously infected with the virus.
Researchers around the globe are working at record-breaking paces to find effective treatments and vaccines against COVID-19. These fall into two categories. Antivirals (prevent the virus from multiplying) and immune modulators, which help the immune system fight the virus or prevent it from a dangerous reaction. Currently, 132 different treatments are being studied. Here are the top 3:
- Remdesivir– Shows promise in reducing recovery time, but no impact on mortality rates.
- Chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine: Recommended for regular use in several countries. However, there is not enough evidence to support positive interactions with COVID-19 use patients. This drug is approved to treat RA and lupus.
- Lopinavir/ritonavir combination– Shows potential promise to reduce the recovery time.
While things are getting better as far as treatment goes, there still is a long way to go regarding treating and vaccinating against COVID-19. We are just now beginning to understand the long-term effects those diagnosed may face. If everyone bands together and does what is needed for the betterment of everyone, we can beat this. Infinite Clinical Trials is looking for volunteers to participate in COVID-19 research studies looking into new ways to treat and prevent this devastating virus. To learn more, call (678) 430-3232 or visit our study page for more information.