First life-saving drug is a major breakthrough in COVID-19 treatment First life-saving drug is a major breakthrough in COVID-19 treatment

First life-saving drug is a major breakthrough in COVID-19 treatment

The treatment for COVID-19 may not be a new and expensive drug, but a cheap and widely available one.

A low-dose steroid treatment called dexamethasone appears to be the biggest breakthrough in the fight against the virus so far, experts say.

The drug is part of the world’s biggest trial of existing treatments and maybe one to save thousands of lives as it has so far shown to cut the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators. For those on oxygen, it cut deaths by a fifth.

Its price could be of huge help in poorer countries with high numbers of coronavirus patients. It would cost $63.26 or £50 to treat 8 patients.

About 19 out of 20 patients with coronavirus recover without being admitted to the hospital. But for those who are high-risk, dexamethasone appears to help.

The drug is currently used to reduce inflammation in conditions such as asthma and arthritis. The trial was led by a team from Oxford University.

"This is the only drug so far that has been shown to reduce mortality - and it reduces it significantly. It's a major breakthrough,” said Prof Peter Horby, chief investigator.

The drug is globally available.

Source: BBC

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