The development of a vaccine involves an extensive process of clinical trials, which involve several months of research, taking up to 5 years to obtain the perfect dose.
Despite the existence of many vaccines in phase 3, that is, applied to humans, there is still no one that is 100 percent effective in preventing the coronavirus, therefore, since this disease emerged, various methods have been used to treat coronavirus. patients diagnosed with COVID-19.
-Remdesivir: In October, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Remdesivir, an antiviral drug that belongs to the group of nucleotide analogs, manufactured by Gilead Sciences under the brand Veklury, as the first antiviral drug for the treatment of COVID-19.
This drug can reduce the recovery time
-Convalescent plasma: That is, the blood plasma of people who managed to recover from COVID-19. This treatment is based on the patient receiving the antibodies that have already defeated the virus in another person.
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that plasma can reduce fatality and improve the health of patients if it is administered during the first three days they are admitted to the hospital.
- Plasma is a part of the blood that is obtained by removing red blood cells, white blood cells and other components. It contains water, salts, proteins and antibodies, which is why it is used to treat people with immune system deficiencies and other disorders.
Equine serum: In May, research carried out by Brazilian scientists found that the serum produced by horses for the treatment of COVID-19 contains antibodies up to twenty times higher than that of humans to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Studies have shown that equine serum is superior to that made from the plasma of convalescent patients.
Dexamethasone: Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid used in a wide variety of conditions for its anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects. During the UK Recovery clinical trial, it was tested in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, and it was also observed that it reduces the mortality of patients connected to ventilators by a third and that of patients who only need oxygen by a fifth.
The WHO recommends the use of this treatment in severe and critical COVID-19 patients, and not to apply it in non-severe COVID-19 patients, since it does not provide any benefit and may even be harmful.
-Ivermectin: Recently an Argentine study revealed that ivermectin, a drug made up of an 80:20 mixture of avermectin B1a and B1b, can reduce the viral load of COVID-19, which allows the patient’s immune system to have better advantages to fight against the virus.
- It should be noted that in April Australian researchers reported that this drug blocked coronaviruses in cell cultures, but with a dose so high that it could have dangerous side effects in people.
- -New gene within another gene: Researchers from the Institute of Comparative Genomics of the Museum of Natural History in New York, United States, discovered an ORF3d gene within another gene in the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- As this is a recent event, scientists are conducting various investigations to identify the specific function of this overlapping gene, as it is also known, as it may reveal new control pathways for the virus, for example, antiviral drugs.
An overlapping gene is one of the ways that coronaviruses have evolved to replicate efficiently, thwart the immunity of the infected, and spread.
Undoubtedly, this new disease has meant a great challenge for modern medicine, therefore, it is important to continue with health measures to prevent contagion and wait for scientists to achieve better results in their proposals to deal with it.