Cocktail of flu, HIV drugs may help fight Coronavirus, say Thai doctors

Henrietta Brewer
February 4, 2020

According to a statement issued by Thailand's health ministry, a woman of Chinese origin, admitted to a hospital in Bangkok has shown surprising improvement and recovery rate after the doctors attending to her case administered a mix of medicines, largely anti-viral drugs mainly used to treat infections like the Flu and the HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).

Doctors at Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok said a new approach to the treatment of coronavirus had improved the condition of several patients in his care, including a 70-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan who tested positive for the coronavirus for 10 days. It only improves the patient's condition significantly as the test result turns negative within 48 hours, as per media reports.

Previous to this, she had only been given anti-HIV treatment.

The Thai doctors treating the patients combined oseltamivir, an anti-flu drug, with lopinavir and ritonavir, which are anti-virals given to HIV patients.

The report, however, will prompt the WHO to work "more closely" with health authorities in Thailand, he added.

Thailand has recorded 19 confirmed cases of the virus which is believed to have originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. The research prompt that the drug helped some patients contaminated with the Center East respiratory syndrome, one other sort of coronavirus. While 8 of these patients are discharged, 11 of them continue their treatment.

Thailand's Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, was seen in a video released on Sunday visiting one of the patients who had recovered from the virus. The repatriated Thai citizens will be placed under quarantine for two weeks.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the US National Institutes of Health, told CNN last week there are now no proven effective drugs to treat the virus.

Kaletra is already being studied in a randomised, controlled trial - the gold standard for testing new medical products - in coronavirus patients in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began. Till date, a total of 362 people have lost their lives due to the virus, including a 44-year-old who died in the Philippines, which makes it the first death to happen outside of China, the area of primary attack.

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