An experimental antiviral drug is showing some positive results in treating patients with COVID-19.In a press conference Thursday, President Donald Trump and FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said chloroquine, a drug long used to treat malaria, and remdesivir are being looked at as potential treatments for the virus.
(Remdesivir was previously used to treat humans who contracted Ebola.)
Susan Kane, a guest on Fox News’ “The Story,” told host Martha MacCallum that her husband tested positive for the Chinese virus after he returned home from a business trip to Florida, and she was willing to give remdesivir a try after hearing about it being used on an experimental basis.
Kane also contracted the virus, but her symptoms cleared up on their own, but she is “100,000 percent convinced that the drug saved her husband’s life,” MacCallum said in setting up the segment.
“When my husband started to get very sick, I just thought that’s where I want to take him,” Kane said. “We could have gone to about four different hospitals, but I wanted to take him to Providence [Regional Medical Center in Everett, Wash.] because I heard the first patient survived. I didn’t know why, but I heard that he survived.”
She said her husband began to feel better almost immediately after taking the drug.
“He was admitted on Monday,” she said. “He was given his first dose on Tuesday. By Wednesday, he was improving dramatically. His fever went down from 103 to just under 100. By that night, he said that it didn’t feel as tight or as much pressure on his chest.”
As of Thursday afternoon, at least 236,384 coronavirus cases have been diagnosed worldwide, with 10,755 cases in the U.S., according to the Associated Press. The virus has accounted for at least 9,790 deaths around the world, including 154 people in the U.S.
Other drugs fast-tracked by President Trump include chloroquine and a related drug, hydroxychloroquine, which are used to treat ailments like malaria and arthritis, the New York Post reported.
“We’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately, and that’s where the FDA has been so great,” the president said Thursday at a press briefing.
“Nothing will stand in our way as we pursue any avenue to find what best works against this horrible virus,” he added. “Clinical trials are already underway for many new therapies and we’re working on scaling these to allow many more Americans to access different drugs that are showing really good promise.”
The Post did report that the drug chloroquine could be “deadly for kids.”
A couple from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Lana and Steve Ervin, were featured, having lost their 2-year-old child in 1983 when she accidentally ingested what they believe was a single chloroquine tablet.
Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., who is also a physician, appeared on “Fox News at Night,” and told host Shannon Bream there are “two hopeful, promising therapies out there.”
“The Gilead drug, remdesivir — it was created to fight Ebola — it’s shown some promise and it’s actually in phase three-level studies with the FDA,” Green said.
“The old reliable Malaria drug chloroquine, the newer version hydroxychloroquine, has shown really good — three studies, one in Australia, one in China and now one in France — mixed with azithromycin, just the old Z-Pac that we take for bronchitis, has had 100%… I mean, it cleared the virus, in some cases in three days, that cocktail, in every one of the patients in that study,” he said.
Green noted that it was a small study, but said, “It’s very promising, 100% of the virus gone in six days.”
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