–Africanews | AFP
Researchers in England say they have the first evidence that a drug can improve COVID-19 survival: A cheap, widely available steroid reduced deaths by up to one third in severely ill hospitalized patients.
The results were announced Tuesday and the British government immediately authorized the drug’s use across the United Kingdom for coronavirus patients like those who did well in the study.
Researchers said they would publish results soon, and several independent experts said it’s important to see details to know how much of a difference the drug might make and for whom.
The study, led by the University of Oxford, was a large, strict test that randomly assigned 2,104 patients to get the drug, dexamethasone, and compared them with 4,321 patients getting only usual care.
The drug was given either orally or through an IV for 10 days. After four weeks, it had reduced deaths by 35% in patients who needed treatment with breathing machines and by 20% in those only needing supplemental oxygen. It did not appear to help less ill patients.
Researchers estimated that the drug would prevent one death for every eight patients treated while on breathing machines and one for every 25 patients on extra oxygen alone.
“There’s this distinction, if you like, between the early phase and the later phase. What we’re seeing today is for patients who need oxygen, for patients who need machines to help them breathe. Those patients, their chances of survival will be improved if they took dexamethasone,” said Dr. Martin Landray, one of the study leaders from the University of Oxford.
Many hospitals and doctors have been trying steroids to quell the immune system, but there’s been no evidence from high-quality studies that it helps for COVID-19.
Until now, the only drug shown to help is remdesivir, an experimental drug from Gilead Sciences that blocks an enzyme the virus uses to copy its genetic material.
Remdesivir shortened the time to recovery for severely ill hospitalized patients by 31% to 11 days on average versus 15 days for those just given usual care, in a study led by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
No information was given on side effects, but researchers said they used a low dose and for a short time, which is generally safe.
“The side effects of corticosteroids are quite well known, for example, with people with diabetes that can increase blood sugar levels a little bit. But of course, in the context of a very sick patients with really quite a high chance of dying without the treatment, the benefits in terms of reducing the risk of dying vastly outweigh the possible side effects,” Landray said.
The Oxford study is the same one that earlier this month showed the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine was not working against the coronavirus.
The study enrolled more than 11,000 patients in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who were given either standard of care or that plus one of several treatments: dexamethasone; the HIV combo drug lopinavir-ritonavir; the antibiotic azithromycin; the anti-inflammatory drug tocilizumab; or plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 that contains antibodies to fight the virus.
Research is continuing on the other treatments. The research is funded by government health agencies in the United Kingdom and private donors including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education.
The Miss Universe-Greatest Celebration of Women
-SOFIE ZERUTO The Miss Universe Organization is a global, inclusive of organizations that celebrates all cultures, backgrounds and religions. It creates and provide a safe space for women to share their stories and drive impact personally, professionally, and philanthropically. The women who participate in this…
All Africa Music Awards; Categories and Regions
-MUSIC IN AFRICA All Africa Music Awards (also referred to as AFRIMA) is an annual awards event. The awards event was established by the International Committee AFRIMA, in collaboration with the African Union (AU) to reward and celebrate musical works, talents and creativity around the African continent while promoting…
African Acts And The Grammy Award
-FUMILAYO KANMODI African music is now getting much-deserved recognition, and talented stars have been rewarded for their hard work. One award many covet has always been the Grammy Award, and we have had African acts that have received the award. In our little way of…
Nigeria’s Former Jonathan Tells African Leaders To Put Humanity First
Joke Falaju, Abuja Bags African Heritage awardFormer President Goodluck Jonathan has urged African leaders privilege to hold public offices to become servants of the people, and not turn themselves into the “bosses of the people”.Jonathan stated this while receiving the African Democracy and Peace Icon…
The Risk And Reward Of ChatGPT In Cybersecurity
Juan is an experienced CTO with a demonstrated history of working in the computer and network security industry. He is an information technology professional skilled in SAP and Oracle applications, computer forensics, vulnerabilities research, IPS/IDS and information security. Unless you’ve been on a retreat in…
Explained – History Of Money From Fiat To Crypto
What is money? Money as a concept has been a cornerstone of human civilization and economic development. To start with the latter, money is a method of storing value and worth, and it also functions as a medium of exchange that allows individuals to exchange…
Studies Show That Nigerian Crypto Foreign Investment Is At A Record Low
Foreign direct investment in Nigeria fell by 33% last year due to a severe shortage of dollars, which discouraged crypto companies from expanding into the country. The largest economy in Africa has a foreign investment problem despite exponential growth in crypto adoption. The National Bureau…
Growing The Bitcoin Development Ecosystem In Africa
– Abubakar Nur Khalil | Bitcoin Magazine Bitcoin development in Africa, with a proper regulatory environment, could equally accelerate the continent and the technology. In this piece, we’ll be analyzing the current state of the Bitcoin developer ecosystem in Africa, ways to improve it and…