Japanese Flu drug sparks hope in the fight against coronavirus

Japanese Flu drug sparks hope in the fight against coronavirus

The coronavirus continues to shake the world and shake even the strongest economy. As nations join the race to be the first to announce a cure or vaccine, the world is still anxious about the fate of this novel virus.

However, it could be a new dawn for the world, brought to a standstill by the novel coronavirus. It may be hopeful if the Japanese flu drug passes the efficacy study for COVID-19, a virus from China.

The Japanese flu drug has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a small randomized trial is being conducted to prove whether the drug can be used to treat the coronavirus.

This antiviral drug, favipiravir, sometimes referred to as Avigan, is being tested in three Massachusetts hospitals to ascertain its effectiveness in treating the virus. The trails take place at Massachusetts General Hospitals, Mass Memorial Health Care, Brigham and the Women’s Hospital. It was previously directed that 50 or 60 patients should be administered with the drug.

The drug, which is an effective cure for new flu strains, was first tested in china against at the early outbreak of coronavirus and has shown promising results in the treatment of over 340 patients who turned negative afterward.  

Directors of the National Center for Biotechnology in China, Zhang Xinmin, confirmed that the favipiravir drug, developed by a subsidiary of Fujifilm in Shenzhen, has positive results in clinical trials in Shenzhen and Wuhan.

Last month it was reported that the positive patients who have prescribed the drug in Shenzhen and Wuhan tested negative for the virus within four days of the administration. These were much shorter as opposed to 11 days for those who were not given the drug.

Researchers also said that 91 percent of patients with lung disease improved after treatment with favipiravir.

However, according to a Japanese source, the drug is considered more effective in people with severe symptoms and less effective in those with mild symptoms.
With the claims about this anti-viral drug, researchers in the United States are also giving the drug to a small group, along with the typical care that coronavirus patients would receive.  They are running the tests along with a control group that only receives the normal standard treatment.

Dr. Keith Flaherty who works at the Massachusetts General Hospital’s, has said that drug is more promising among the other 30 clinical trials the hospital has conducted with other drugs. He added that testing the drug should now be a priority as it shows some hopes.

And this should now be hope for the world, which has turned out to be a prison of life, since the freedom in how people mingle, make contacts or travel is limited. People around the world also want the solution so that they can go back to business that had to be closed due to mitigation measures to curb the spread of this virus.

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