Covid-19 comes from a large family of viruses, known as coronavirus which can cause illness not only to humans, but to animals as well. Several coronaviruses are mainly known to cause respiratory infections ranging from common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Covid-19 is an infectious disease that was discovered on December 2019 when an outbreak began in Wuhan, China, creating a pandemic around the world. This virus has reached to all continents on earth except Antarctica. It is transferred from on person to another through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which is expelled when a person with Covid-19 coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These droplets are relatively heavy and cannot travel far, quickly sinking to the ground, or objects or surfaces around people, such as tables and doorknobs. If a personal unintentionally touches these objects or surfaces and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth, the person can get infected with the virus as well.
The most common symptoms for the newly found coronavirus are fever, dry cough and tiredness. Apart from these symptoms, some of the rare symptoms include of aches and pains, nasal congestion, headache, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms begin gradually and are usually mild.
Cure for the virus
Majority of the people that get infected with Covid-19 recover from the virus without needing hospital treatment. 1 out of every 5 people who gets infected with Covid-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. However, older people and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart and lung problems, diabetes, or cancer are at the highest risk of developing serious illness. But it is best to be aware of the virus and to be protected from it as anyone can get Covid-19 and become seriously ill.
Although in mild cases, patients are simply let to rest and are given fever-reducing medications, in severe cases, the treatments given are based on the kind of care given to patients with influenza and other severe respiratory illnesses, also known as “supportive care” to treat the symptoms of a Covid-19 patient, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These treatments tend to treat the symptoms of Covid-19.
At present, there is no proven cure for the Covid-19. However there are promising medications and vaccines for the virus as well as myth-busters regarding the cure for Covid-19. Some of which include of:
- Lab-grown antibodies as a cure for Covid-19
Antibodies are a key part of the immune system. The immune systems will create antibodies to destroy any intruder that invades the human body.
In an attempt to find a cure for the Covid-19, doctors are seeking to grow antibodies and deploy them into the body to fight against the virus. This could serve as both a remedy for the patients infected with the virus and as a way to prevent infection in front-line health workers and in people that are severely ill.
Up to date, at least six companies are expected to be testing the lab-grown antibodies on Covid-19 patients.
Antibodies are relatively more advantageous compared to conventional drugs that put them near the front of the pack of new therapies under development against COVID-19, as they can be produced comparatively fast and they are generally fairly safe.
“The whole process, from getting a blood sample to having antibodies ready for the clinic, was about three months,” stated antibody sciences director Laura Walker at biotech company Adimab.
Walker also added that, since they are based on well-studied part of the body’s defenses, the odds that a monoclonal antibody will be effective is quite high.
- Steroid Dexamethasone as a treatment for Covid-19
The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to update its guidelines on treating people stricken with coronavirus to reflect results of a clinical trial that showed a cheap, common steroid could help save critically ill patients.
According to initial findings, the drug dexamethasone proves to reduce death by about one-third in patients on ventilators and one-fifth in patients who require oxygen.
WHO also stated that even though the benefits were seen in patients that were seriously ill with Covid-19, it was not observed in patients with milder disease.
“This is the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support.” WHO stated.
- Vaccine for Covid-19
According to a new study, China developed a potential Covid-19 vaccine that appears to be safe and able to generate an immune response after an early trial in more than 100 people.
A new study published in The Lancet on May 22 reveal that the researches tested this virus in 108 healthy people ages 18 to 60 who didn’t have Covid-19. Participants received either a low, middle or high dose of the vaccine.
After two weeks of vaccination, the participants in all three groups showed some level of an immune response to the virus.
By 28 days, nearly all participants had developed antibodies that bound to the virus, but don’t necessarily attack the virus. About half of the low- and middle- dose groups and three-quarters of participants in the high-dose group had developed “neutralizing antibodies,” that attach to the virus and disable it, preventing it from infecting the body cells.
The study says that the most common side effects for this vaccine were mild pain at the injection site, mild fever, fatigue, headache and muscle pain.
Although the effects lasted no more than 48 hours, nine participants had developed a fever of more than 38.5 degrees Celsius and one patient in the high dose group developed a high fever along with fatigue, shortness of breath and muscle pain.
The researchers are now carrying on with a larger, phase 2 study of the vaccine that involves 500 participants including participants over 60 years, who will be given low or intermediate dose of the vaccine and will be observed for six months after vaccination to check the side effects that may rise.
Apart from this, several vaccines are currently in trial for the Covid-19, including a vaccine produced by the researchers at Oxford University that disclosed that their vaccine is being tested in advanced clinical trial involving over 10,000 people and that it could be available in this September as well.
- Herbal remedy for Covid-19
On April 20, the President of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina, who is willing to use the presidential platform to promote a hypothetical treatment, calls a press conference to announce that an old malaria treatment is showing miraculous results among the country’s most ill patients. He also urged the schoolchildren to take it daily as a preventative while admitting that, he is taking the herbal drink as well.
To prove the safety of his new discovery, he picked a bottle placed prominently on the podium and takes a swig of the amber liquid.
“This herbal tea gives results in seven days,” he avows. “Tests have been carried out—two people have now been cured by this treatment.”
Rajoelina also announced that the herbal remedy is the first African cure for coronavirus and that it will be distributed countrywide, and, eventually across the continent.
IMRA’s director general, Dr. Charles Andrianjara stated that the herbal tea is a combination of Artemissia with natual cough suppressants, fever reducers and more ingredients. He revealed that It was at first tested on 1-2 patients that were tested for the virus and they found that it really reduced the symptoms of the virus and that they recovered quickly. Andrianjara’s assessment comes only from observing the reactions of a handful of patients, that were not receiving any other treatments at the same time as when they were infected with the virus.
However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no proven medicine that has shown to prevent or cure Covid-19 yet. Despite this, Rajoelina continued to promote the herbal in multiple African nations, which sparked consternation among the medical community in Africa. This provoked an unusually sharp rebuke from WHO in a statement disclosed on May 4 saying that,
“Caution must be taken against misinformation, especially on social media, about the effectiveness of certain remedies. Many plants and substances are being proposed without the minimum requirements and evidence of quality, safety and efficacy.” The use of such untested products, it continued, “can put people in danger, giving a false sense of security and distracting them from hand washing and physical distancing which are cardinal in COVID-19 prevention.”
Despite the warnings from WHO, Rajoelina continuous to promote the drink and claims that more than 100 patients that were positive for Covid-19 have already been successfully treated with the herbal drink.
“When we are in this period of war, what is the proof we can show or give? It is, of course, the healing of our sick,” he said. “I think the problem is that [the drink] comes from Africa and they can’t admit…that a country like Madagascar…has come up with this formula to save the world.”
- Myth-busters about the cure for Covid-19
– Although Garlic is a healthy food that may contain some antimicrobial properties, there is no proven evidence that eating garlic can protect the people from Covid-19.
– There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline can prevent people from Covid-19 although some limited evidence shows that it can help people recover more quickly from common cold.
– Hand dryers are not effective in killing the Covid-19
– Taking a hot bath will not prevent people from catching the virus but only can harm them as regardless the external temperature or weather, the normal human body temperature remains at 36.5°C – 37°C.
– Countries with hot weather has reported cases of Covid-19 so, exposing a person to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25 degrees Celsius does not prevent the virus.
– Being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort is not a sign that a person doesn’t have Covid-19.
– Drinking alcohol does not prevent one from having Covid-19 infections.
The best way to prevent getting Covid-19
- It is best to keep a healthy lifestyle at home by maintaining a healthy diet and sleep schedule.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth as the hands touch many surfaces and a contaminated hand could transfer the virus to the nose, eyes or mouth, letting it enter the body.
- Cleaning hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or with soap and water thoroughly and regularly as this can kill the virus that may be on the hands.
- To prevent the small liquid droplets from a persons nose or mouth which may contain virus, its best to maintain a distance of at least 3 feet.
- Avoid going to crowded places as it will be difficult to maintain a distance of 3 feet and is likely to come into close contact with someone that has Covid-19.
- Cover the mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing, and wash hands later on.
- Wear a mask when leaving the house to avoid getting infected and to avoid infecting others.
- Seek medical attention in advance if one has a fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
How long till we have a proven cure for the virus?
Exactly when a cure for the virus will be found is yet to be known. However, since some of the doctors are testing drugs that have already been developed and are known to be safe enough to use, the results of these trails will be known in the upcoming few months, Unlike the results of a vaccine that has to be made starting from scratch.