High dose of vitamin C – Is it effective to treat COVID-19 disease?
Right now, there is neither any convincing scientific evidence to support this claim nor is there any studies that suggest that it works for COVID-19 infections. Many individuals are of the notion that high doses of vitamin C given intravenously can offer a better chance of treating some critically ill patients and can also accelerate the recovery process. But so far it is not a standard part of treatment for this novel (new) type of infection. However, studies are underway in China to check whether this mode of treatment is beneficial for patients with severe COVID-19 infection.
Is Antiviral drug remdesivir effective against COVID-19?
Researchers are working relentlessly throughout the world to come out with proper treatment for COVID-19. In this regard, they are testing previously used drugs to determine whether they are effective against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Coronavirus that causes SARS and MERS is similar to coronaviruses that cause COVID-19. Of late, one drug – remdesivir received lots of attention. This drug restricts reproduction (multiplication) and the spread of these viruses in the body. Coronaviruses need an important enzyme that helps in their multiplication and reproduction – which is an important element of their growth cycle – and also identical in all three coronaviruses. This enzyme is the potential target of the drug remdesivir. The enzyme is virtually identical in all three coronaviruses. Therefore, Remdesivir which is effective against SARS and MERS is likely to work against COVID-19.
More studies are underway to determine the effectiveness and efficacy of this drug in human beings. In cases of SARS and MERS, COVID coronaviruses, the drug was effective in the laboratory.
The drug was first tested in January 2020 in Washington state on the first case of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The patient who was severely ill survived. It has to be tested on more patients.
In China, two large randomized clinical trials are underway. In this trial, more than 700 patients are likely to be enrolled. This trail will surely answer whether this drug is effective in treating COVID-19. Several clinical studies and trials are also underway in several Harvard-affiliated hospitals, USA and China. The results of clinical trials from China are expected in April and May 2020.
Are chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine effective for treating COVID-19?
There are many discussions and studies going on to check whether chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine two well-known drugs available for decades offer any help in the treatment of COVID-19.
Why these drugs have become the point of discussion?
These drugs are in use against malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) and several other inflammatory diseases. The benefits from these drugs include their ease of availability, affordability and relatively less side effects. Though no drug is safe, these two drugs, if used for just a few weeks, might be helpful if they pass the trials in the treatment of COVID-19. But the big question here is whether these two drugs are effective against coronavirus that causes COVID-19. How do the drugs work in people with COVID-19? Many studies are underway to get an answer to this question.
Is a lost sense of smell a symptom of COVID-19? What should I do if I lose my sense of smell?
Loss of sense of smell (anosmia) – is this one of the potential symptoms of COVID-19 is the big question here. Viral infections are the leading cause of loss of sense of smell; therefore, it is not surprising that infections caused by coronaviruses like COVID-19 are associated with anosmia. This particular symptom might be helpful for doctors in identifying people who are infected with COVID-19 and who do not have other symptoms – but they could still be unknowingly spreading infection or infecting others.
ENT specialists (otolaryngologists) from the United Kingdom have released a joint statement saying that out of three confirmed COVID-19 cases two have reported to had anosmia (loss of sense of smell). In South Korea, among the positive COVID-19 cases who had mild symptoms, 30% had anosmia as the main symptom.
Based on these finding and reports, ENT specialists have urged to include anosmia or loss of sense of smell in the list of COVID-19 symptoms that are used to screen suspected people for further testing and quarantine. (the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery have recommended this).
Are there any other infections that cause loss of sense of smell?
Yes, common cold, allergies, infections caused by rhinoviruses and other viruses can also cause loss of sense of smell, in addition to, COVID-19. Based on anosmia alone, one cannot say that a person has COVID-19. There are several studies and research activities underway to get more precise insights about the ways in which COVID-19 causes anosmia including at what point after infection a person experiences this symptom and how it differs from other infections.