• The Financial District


As the world races to produce a vaccine against COVID-19, Hong Kong researchers have found a new route to suppress the deadly virus by using a three-drug combination of antivirals interferon beta-1b, lopinavir-ritonavir and ribavirin to reduce the period of viral shedding – when the coronavirus is detectable and potentially transmissible – for patients with mild to moderate symptoms in just seven days.

This cocktail, said Prof. Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, a top infectious diseases expert who led the two-month study covering 127 people affected by COVID-19 in Hong Kong, said the cocktail can “suppress the amount of virus in a patient’s body, relieve symptoms, and reduce the risk to health care workers by reducing the duration and quantity of viral shedding.” It was twice better than treating the patients using only lopinavir-ritonavir, the HIV drug known by its brand name Kaletra.

In her report carried by the South China Morning Post, Elizabeth Cheung said the study was published by The Lancet and could signal some progress in the search for a standard form of therapy for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. Cuba developed the interferon drug to treat multiple sclerosis, a neurological disease, while Ribavirin was commonly used to treat hepatitis C. #coronavirusimpact #COVID19

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