Could this Cheap Steroid Drug Help Coronavirus Patients?

( While the world waits for a vaccine for the Chinese coronavirus, and far-left media outlets and politicians ridicule the President of the United States for suggesting that patients should be allowed to try hydroxychloroquine if they wish, it looks like a potential treatment or COVID-19 has been under our noses this entire time. According to medical and public health experts in the United Kingdom, a low dose of dexamethasone may prove a breakthrough in the treatment of coronavirus patients.

Experts say the drug, which is a cheap and commonly used steroid drug, could cut the chances of a coronavirus patient dying by as much as a third if they are on a ventilator. Those who require oxygen may also see their chances of dying from the virus cut by one fifth.

According to the BBC, if the drug had been used on COVID-19 patients in the UK from the beginning of the outbreak, as many as 5,000 lives may have been saved. The British state-funded media outlet also suggested the drug could be a particular benefit in poorer nations that continue struggling with the COVID-19 outbreak.

“About 19 out of 20 patients with coronavirus recover without being admitted to hospital,” the BBC reports. “Of those who are admitted to hospital, most also recover, but some may need oxygen or mechanical ventilation. These are the high-risk patients whom dexamethasone appears to help.”

A trial led by scientists of the University of Oxford looked at 2,000 patients in hospital who were given dexamethasone as a treatment. They compared the results to over 4,000 people who were not given the drugs.

Professor Peter Horby, the chief investigator of the project, said that it is the “only drug so far that has been shown to reduce mortality.”

“And it reduces it significantly,” he said. “It’s a major breakthrough.”

The steroid drug is already widely used by doctors to treat a variety of conditions, as well as inflammation. Dexamethasone is also understood to be effective in helping repair damage done to the body by autoimmune responses in the body. This is important, given that those who die of coronavirus don’t die specifically because of the virus itself, but because of how it puts the body’s immune response into overdrive.