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Coronavirus: Dexamethasone being used to treat NHS patients today

Coronavirus: Dexamethasone being used to treat NHS patients today

Health
A life-saving treatment for seriously-ill hospital patients with Covid-19 is being used across the UK from today, following breakthrough results in a UK trial.Dexamethasone - a cheap, widely-available steroid - was shown to reduce deaths among patients on ventilators and on oxygen.The UK's chief medical officers say it should be used "with immediate effect".And there are no issues with supplies of the medicine in the UK.What is dexamethasone and how does it work?In an urgent letter from the UK's four chief medical officers to clinicians in the NHS, they said dexamethasone had "a clear place in the management of hospitalised patients with Covid-19".Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the Commons that 240,000 doses of the drug are "in stock and on order"."It...
Hepatitis drug interferon-alpha-2b might treat COVID-19 effectively

Hepatitis drug interferon-alpha-2b might treat COVID-19 effectively

Health
May 14 (UPI) -- Treatment with the hepatitis drug interferon-alpha-2b might speed recovery for people with COVID-19, a small study published Friday by the journal Frontiers in Immunology found. Researchers in Wuhan, China, report that the drug significantly reduced levels of detectable virus in the upper respiratory tract, based on "experimental" treatment with 77 patients who had the disease. The findings, researchers said, showed promise for interferon-alpha-2b -- which has been used against hepatitis and some forms of cancer, including melanoma -- as a treatment against COVID-19. They stressed that larger, controlled trials of the drug are needed. "Interferons are our first line of defense against any and all viruses -- but viruses such as coronaviruses have co-evolved to very specifi...
FDA approves remdesivir to treat COVID-19

FDA approves remdesivir to treat COVID-19

Health
May 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday granted emergency use authorization for the antiviral remdesivir to treat COVID-19. Although clinical trials of the drug for treatment of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, have produced mixed results, the largest study to date suggested that up to 50 percent of those given the drug for a five-day period showed improvement in symptoms. Roughly the same percentage were well enough to be discharged from the hospital within two weeks of receiving their first dose of the drug, which is delivered intravenously. The agency said the drug has not been approved as a general treatment for COVID-19. Rather, it is only intended for emergency use on severely ill patients who have been hospitalized. "Today's action is an important step in...
Could one of these four drugs help treat COVID-19?

Could one of these four drugs help treat COVID-19?

Technology
The World Health Organisation has launched an international drug trial to find the best treatment for the coronavirus.Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said four drugs that are already used to treat other conditions will now be tested on COVID-19 patients. The SOLIDARITY trial will take place in more than 10 countries around the world, with hospitals in each country able to treat patients with one of the four drugs. 'Europe is new ...
New York’s plastic bag ban is a lesson in how consumers treat money

New York’s plastic bag ban is a lesson in how consumers treat money

Finance
Zelma Brezinska / EyeEmNew York's new ban on plastic bags is, on its face, an effort to reduce consumer waste. It likely also offers an important lesson on consumer psychology and how we think about money.As of Sunday, most businesses in the state can no longer offer single-use plastic bags to consumers. Several cities and counties, such as New York City, are also imposing a 5-cent fee for each paper bag a consumer chooses to use.A similar rule in Los Angeles (which imposed a 10-cent fee) led to a 94% reduction in single-use bag consumption, according to a New York task force report. In Washington, D.C., a 5-cent fee on both paper and plastic bags caused a 50% reduction. Internationally, bag fees have resulted in reductions ranging from 50% to 90%, according to the report.More from Persona...