Some optimism, some caution and the latest progress in COVID understanding.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/13/coronavirus-treatments/

I think this should be non-paywalled. There are too many parts and stories to summarize.

Some tidbits:

““Things changed almost completely, from knowing nothing at all and going on hearsay from Milan, Seoul and Wuhan — to saying, ‘Well, this is something we know we can do,'” Pascual said.

The World Health Organization also sounded a note of optimism on Tuesday, saying it sees “potentially positive data” in four or five coronavirus treatments and planned additional studies to be able to make recommendations. “We do have some treatments that seem to be in very early studies limiting the severity or the length of the illness,” spokeswoman Margaret Harris said.”

“Some theorize early failures of some drugs that target a hyperactive inflammatory response may be because those drugs tend to suppress just one in a broad category of cytokines, or proteins important in cell signaling. “It was like playing whack a mole,” explained the University of Michigan’s Kanthi. “You block one cytokine and then another one pops up.”

In addition, it seems a “cocktail” may have some hope because of the varied nature of the symptoms and effects of the virus.

It does seem that HCQ has lost its luster. Many doctors are hesitant to use it as adverse effects including death, have popped up.

Any case, science marches on.

4 thoughts on “Some optimism, some caution and the latest progress in COVID understanding.

  1. Interesting, but I remain troubled by the methodology.

    All of the studies are on patients sick enough to require hospitalization. But how many of the 15% that wind up in the hospital did not have to get that sick if they were effectively treated sooner?

    Realistically, you’re not going to treat minor symptoms, even in high risk patients, with $1000 a pill antivirals and Interlukin 6 inhibitors.

    Hydroxychloroquine is a weak antiviral and and an effective immune system moderator, which is what it is used for in arthritis and lupus patients. At the doses used for lupus flare-ups, it is quite safe for outpatient use. But once a patient is in a cytokine storm it is no longer enough.

    And that’s the problem. By testing it on patients after it is too late for it to do any good, it gets rejected for use at the earliest diagnosis when it might well be sufficient to keep the patient from ever getting that ill.

    Keep in mind that the very successful Tamiflu would be seen as a failure if it were only used on flu patients already so sick they are hospitalized, yet it probably keeps thousands of patients from getting seriously ill every year.

    The whole thing has become so politicized that no one will look past partisan advantage. Trump supporters are convinced it is a cure all at every stage and his opponents are terrified it might work. But it really isn’t an all or nothing question.

    And no one is simply treating the patient aggressively with the tool most appropriate at the stage of the disease.

    Like

    1. “Trump supporters are convinced it is a cure all at every stage and his opponents are terrified it might work.“

      That is truly unfair.

      Trump is willing to send low wage workers into high risk areas to boost the DOW.

      How does that sound to you?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. …no one is simply treating the patient aggressively with the tool most appropriate at the stage of the disease.”

      Do we know that for sure? Unless it is being tried earlier, as you suggest, we won’t know. I would like to believe there are some doctors out there who are above the politics on trying an effective early treatment.

      Bottom line is, IMO, until there is an effective vaccine to prevent the disease, we have to rely on things being tried.

      I also have to agree with Len in your “partisan advantage” statement. I am not so cynical to believe that either party wants things to go badly, health-wise or economically.

      36 million have filed for unemployment, but the DOW is up, so all is well?

      Like

  2. Hard to say. I can’t imagine that there have been no efforts to use HCQ earlier by some doctors around the world.

    Thousands of physicians and researchers are not all in on the politics. In fact, probably very few, as they desperately try to save lives.

    Liked by 1 person

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