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Is there a cure for COVID-19? What is the cure?

This article was published on
April 21, 2021

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There is no known cure for COVID-19 right now, but there are ways to manage the symptoms of the disease. A cure is a substance or act that ends and relieves the symptoms of a medical condition so patients can have their health restored. One for COVID-19 is currently being researched in many clinical trials around the world, but no treatment or practice has been shown to effectively meet these standards. Healthcare professionals around the world are researching various treatments for COVID-19, including drugs that already exist to treat other conditions to see if they may be effective against COVID-19 as well. No treatments are currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for COVID-19, but because COVID-19 is a public health crisis, doctors can treat patients using some drugs that are not technically approved for COVID-19. Emergency use authorization enables unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used for diagnosis, treatment or prevention in an emergency setting, even if the treatments may still be under further study. Remdesivir, an antiviral drug manufactured by Gilead Sciences that stops the virus from replicating, received emergency use authorization by the U.S. FDA. It reportedly reduced the recovery time for hospitalized patients from 15 days to 11 days, and early results indicate that it may reduce mortality among patients who are very sick from COVID-19. In terms of clinical management of symptoms, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) COVID-19 treatment guidelines indicate that Remdesivir supplies are limited and should be prioritized for patients who need it most (hospitalized patients who require supplemental oxygen). The guidelines also recommend the use of dexamethasone, a steroid that can reduce inflammation, for patients who require ventilators or supplemental oxygen (and potentially other corticosteroids). Healthcare professionals may use ventilators and supplemental oxygen to ensure that hospitalized patients have a healthy supply of oxygen in the body, and monitor patients accordingly. Prone positioning (flipping COVID-19 patients onto their bellies in order to open up their lungs ) is also widely used to help patients recover from the virus. At present, there is no cure for COVID-19.

There is no known cure for COVID-19 right now, but there are ways to manage the symptoms of the disease. A cure is a substance or act that ends and relieves the symptoms of a medical condition so patients can have their health restored. One for COVID-19 is currently being researched in many clinical trials around the world, but no treatment or practice has been shown to effectively meet these standards. Healthcare professionals around the world are researching various treatments for COVID-19, including drugs that already exist to treat other conditions to see if they may be effective against COVID-19 as well. No treatments are currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for COVID-19, but because COVID-19 is a public health crisis, doctors can treat patients using some drugs that are not technically approved for COVID-19. Emergency use authorization enables unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used for diagnosis, treatment or prevention in an emergency setting, even if the treatments may still be under further study. Remdesivir, an antiviral drug manufactured by Gilead Sciences that stops the virus from replicating, received emergency use authorization by the U.S. FDA. It reportedly reduced the recovery time for hospitalized patients from 15 days to 11 days, and early results indicate that it may reduce mortality among patients who are very sick from COVID-19. In terms of clinical management of symptoms, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) COVID-19 treatment guidelines indicate that Remdesivir supplies are limited and should be prioritized for patients who need it most (hospitalized patients who require supplemental oxygen). The guidelines also recommend the use of dexamethasone, a steroid that can reduce inflammation, for patients who require ventilators or supplemental oxygen (and potentially other corticosteroids). Healthcare professionals may use ventilators and supplemental oxygen to ensure that hospitalized patients have a healthy supply of oxygen in the body, and monitor patients accordingly. Prone positioning (flipping COVID-19 patients onto their bellies in order to open up their lungs ) is also widely used to help patients recover from the virus. At present, there is no cure for COVID-19.

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What our experts say

There is no known cure for COVID-19 right now, but there are ways to manage the symptoms of the disease. A cure is a substance or act that ends and relieves the symptoms of a medical condition so patients can have their health restored. One for COVID-19 is currently being researched in many clinical trials around the world, but no treatment or practice has been shown to effectively meet these standards. Healthcare professionals around the world are researching various treatments for COVID-19, including drugs that already exist to treat other conditions to see if they may be effective against COVID-19 as well.

No treatments are currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for COVID-19, but because COVID-19 is a public health crisis, doctors can treat patients using some drugs that are not technically approved for COVID-19. Emergency use authorization enables unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used for diagnosis, treatment or prevention in an emergency setting, even if the treatments may still be under further study.

Remdesivir, an antiviral drug manufactured by Gilead Sciences that stops the virus from replicating, received emergency use authorization by the U.S. FDA. It reportedly reduced the recovery time for hospitalized patients from 15 days to 11 days, and early results indicate that it may reduce mortality among patients who are very sick from COVID-19.

In terms of clinical management of symptoms, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) COVID-19 treatment guidelines indicate that Remdesivir supplies are limited and should be prioritized for patients who need it most (hospitalized patients who require supplemental oxygen). The guidelines also recommend the use of dexamethasone, a steroid that can reduce inflammation, for patients who require ventilators or supplemental oxygen (and potentially other corticosteroids). Healthcare professionals may use ventilators and supplemental oxygen to ensure that hospitalized patients have a healthy supply of oxygen in the body, and monitor patients accordingly. Prone positioning (flipping COVID-19 patients onto their bellies in order to open up their lungs ) is also widely used to help patients recover from the virus. At present, there is no cure for COVID-19.

Context and background

The word 'cure' is a broad one that technically means a procedure or drug that ends a certain medical condition, and implies a complete restoration of health. The word 'treatment,' on the other hand, technically means a procedure or drug that improves a certain medical condition, but doesn't necessarily end it. This distinction is important because there is currently no cure for COVID-19, but there are treatments in use, namely Remdesivir, which is under emergency use authorization (EUA) by the U.S. FDA, and Dexamethasone, which was previously approved by the FDA to treat a range of other health conditions. None of these treatments, however, are officially approved for COVID-19. There are multiple studies being conducted around the world to test a variety of cures, treatments, and preventative vaccines for COVID-19.

Resources

  1. COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines (NIH)
  2. Information for Clinicians on Investigational Therapeutics for Patients with COVID-19 (U.S. CDC)
  3. Coronavirus Drug and Treatment Tracker (NYT)

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