A Pill to Treat Covid-19? The U.S. Is Betting on It.
Islam News – The U.S. government announced that it would invest $3.2 billion in a neglected area of research: developing antiviral pills for Covid. Such a treatment could fight the virus early in the course of infection, keeping people out of the hospital, and potentially save many lives.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key backer of the program, said he looked forward to a time when patients could pick up antiviral pills from a pharmacy as soon as they tested positive or developed symptoms.
Dr. Fauci described the scenario in an interview: “I wake up in the morning, I don’t feel very well, my sense of smell and taste go away, I get a sore throat. I call up my doctor and I say, ‘I have Covid and I need a prescription.’”
Scientists now know that the best time to try to block the virus is in the first few days of the disease, when the virus is replicating rapidly and the immune system has not yet mounted a defense. Blocking the infection early may prevent later, more damaging stages of the disease, when immune systems begin misfiring and damage tissues instead of viruses.
A number of other viruses, including influenza, H.I.V. and hepatitis C, can be treated with a simple pill. But despite more than a year of research, no such drug exists for the coronavirus. The new investment will be used to speed up the clinical trials of a few promising candidates. If all goes well, some of those pills could become available by the end of this year.
Source: The New York Times