COVID-19: Asthma Inhalers Being Tested for Treatment

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[COVID-19\Steroid Inhalers]
News Medical: "Researchers in this new trial are studying if the steroid inhalers used for reducing the exacerbations of asthma could be useful for patients with early COVID-19 and reduce their risk of severe disease."
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The novel coronavirus or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected over 11.79 million people around the world and killed over 543,000 individuals to date.

The virus has led to severe respiratory complications and hospitalization in some individuals. These individuals have needed intensive care and ventilation, and the outcome of these patients is usually poor.

As of now, there are no definitive medications to treat and cure the infection, and there are no effective vaccines to prevent viral infection. Researchers around the world are in search of drugs that could help reduce the severity of complications of COVID-19. There are currently 21 candidate vaccines in clinical evaluation and 139 candidate vaccines at the preclinical evaluation stage.

Role of corticosteroids in COVID-19

COVID-19 is known to cause severe respiratory illness in some individuals. Studies have shown that some corticosteroids, such as dexamethasone, could reduce the inflammation of the respiratory tract in these patients and benefit them by alleviating the symptoms of severe disease.

Researchers in this new trial are studying if the steroid inhalers used for reducing the exacerbations of asthma could be useful for patients with early COVID-19 and reduce their risk of severe disease.

The paradox

Lead researcher on this team Dan Nicolau, an associate professor at QUT, explained that the asthmatics and those with chronic lung disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were on regular inhaler therapy with corticosteroids, were found to have a lesser risk of severe illness in the early phase of the pandemic. He said that this was paradoxical because those with long term lung disease were initially considered to be at a higher risk of a respiratory viral infection such as SARS-CoV-2. He said in his statement, “This seemed paradoxical because COVID-19 affects the lungs – and these patients have lung problems – so they should be more at risk of severe disease from the virus.”

For the rest of this News Medical story log on to:https://www.news-medical.net/amp/news/20200707/Asthma-inhalers-being-tri...

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