The 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting our lives in a scale most of us haven’t experienced before. At the time of this writing, COVID-19, caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Coronavirus Syndrome 2 (SARS-COV2), has infected more than 200,000 people in more than 170 countries. COVID-19 has killed over 8000 people while over 80000 people have recovered. It is transmitted via droplets from coughing and sneezing. Symptoms occur between 2 and 14 days after initial exposure to the virus.
Symptoms include cough, fever, shortness of breath, and in severe cases kidney failure. Large meetings and big sporting events have been canceled in most countries. Schools, bars, and restaurants have been closed. Leaders of many countries have suggested to “defeat the invisible enemy” by staying indoors. Let’s take a look into the latest breakthroughs in the fight against COVID-19.
MSC Stem Cell Therapy: One of The Latest Breakthroughs in the Fight Against COVID-19
Lifespan, the website that focuses on health issues, has recently reported that mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy is effective against our immune system’s deadly reaction to COVID-19. In our body the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE-2) receptor is a cardioregulator. Cells containing ACE2 receptors are present in our lungs. Thus, COVID-19 enters our body via the ACE2 receptor and affects our lungs. This causes our immune system to overproduce immune cells which will inturn kill us. The MSC Stem Cell Therapy research conducted on seven patients concluded that the transplanted mesenchymal stem cells improved the pulmonary functions of the patients. This gives hope to COVID-19 patients until vaccines are developed. It makes it one of the latest breakthroughs in the fight against COVID-19.
Fujifilm Drug Effective against COVID-19 says Chinese Official
Zhang Xinmin, a Chinese minister, has recently said that Favipiravir is effective against COVID-19. Favipiravir is an Influenza drug developed by the famous Japanese firm Fujifilm. Chinese scientists conducted medical trials on patients with moderate cases of COVID-19. They divided their patients into two groups and gave one of the groups Favipiravir. The results are promising. The group of patients taking Favipiravir recovered from COVID-19 within four days. The average recovery period for patients that didn’t take Favipiravir was 11 days. This shows that the drug is more effective in treating moderate cases of COVID-19. However, the drug isn’t effective against severe COVID-19 cases. In Japan, doctors used the drug to treat patients with severe cases and they failed. Favipiravir needs approval by the Chinese government to be used since it is currently used to treat Influenza only.
These aren’t the latest breakthroughs in the fight against COVID-19. Researchers in the U.S. gave experimental vaccines to volunteers this week. Other experimental vaccines are being developed in Germany and Israel. The latest breakthroughs in the fight against COVID-19 are very promising but it will take months if not a year before we can get a cure to COVID-19. Until that time comes let’s make sure to protect ourselves by washing our hands regularly and by maintaining social distancing.