• Rahul Ganga


A cheap and widely available drug called dexamethasone can help spare the lives of patients who are genuinely sick with coronavirus. It cut the danger of death by a third for patients on ventilators. For those on oxygen, it cut deaths by 20%.

UK specialists say the low-dose steroid treatment is a major breakthrough in the battle against the deadly virus.

About 95% of patients with coronavirus recover without being admitted to the medical clinic. Of the individuals who are admitted to the hospital, most likewise recover, yet some may require oxygen or mechanical ventilation. These are the high-risk patients whom dexamethasone seems to help.

In the trial, drove by a group from Oxford University, around 2,000 clinic patients were given dexamethasone and were contrasted and in excess of 4,000 who didn't get the medication.

For patients on ventilators, it cut the risk of death from 40% to 28%. For patients needing oxygen, it cut the risk of death from 25% to 20%.

The first drug proven to cut deaths from Covid-19 is not some new, expensive medicine but an old and cheap steroid. Dexamethasone has been utilized since the mid-1960s to treat a wide scope of conditions, for example, rheumatoid joint inflammation and asthma.

Chief investigator Prof Peter Horby said: "This is the only drug so far that has been shown to reduce mortality - and it reduces it significantly. It's a major breakthrough." Half of all COVID patients who require a ventilator do not survive, so cutting that risk by a third would have a huge impact.

"There is an unmistakable, clear advantage. The treatment is as long as 10 days of dexamethasone and it costs about £5 per day. So basically, it costs £35 to spare a real existence. This is a medication that is globally accessible."

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