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COVID-19: Dexamethasone proves 1st life-saving drug

COVID-19: Dexamethasone proves 1st life-saving drug

AFP
Paris
Dexamethasone, a cheap and widely used steroid, has been found to dramatically reduce the risk of dying from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, in what scientists in the United Kingdom have hailed as a “major breakthrough”.
“Dexamethasone is the first drug to be shown to improve survival in COVID-19. This is an extremely welcome result,” said Peter Horby, professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford.
Researchers led by a team from the University of Oxford administered the widely available steroid dexamethasone to more than 2,000 severely ill COVID-19 patients.
Among those who could only breathe with the help of a ventilator, dexamethasone reduced deaths by 35 percent. “Dexamethasone is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide.”
About 19 out of 20 patients with coronavirus recover without being admitted to hospital.
Of those who are admitted, most also recover but some may need oxygen or mechanical ventilation.
Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock said patients would start to receive the drug immediately.
“Based on these results, one death would be prevented by treatment of around 8 ventilated patients or around 25 patients requiring oxygen alone,” a University of Oxford statement said.