A newly published study confirms easily accessible steroids are effective in treating those with severe cases of COVID-19

As pointed out by the New York Times, the World Health Organization conducted seven clinical trials in which 1,703 coronavirus patients were given three anti-inflammatory steroids—hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, and dexamethasone—that have been widely used to alleviate symptoms such as swelling and pain. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found the steroids reduced the mortality rate among people with "critical COVID-19" cases by one-third.

In light of the analysis, WHO is now recommending seven to 10 days of steroid treatment for patients with severe infections. The organization does not, however, recommend steroids for those "with non-severe COVID-19."

Per WHO:

... The panel concluded that fully informed patients with non-severe COVID-19 would mostly not choose to receive this treatment given that current data indicated they would not likely derive benefit and may derive harm. Moreover, taking both a public health and a patient perspective, the panel warned that indiscriminate use of any therapy for COVID-19 would potentially rapidly deplete global resources and deprive patients who may benefit from it most as potentially life-saving therapy.

The newly published report confirms a June study by University of Oxford researchers, who found dexamethasone improved the survival rates among the sickest COVID-19 patients.

"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 at University of Oxford. "The survival benefit is clear and large in those patients who are sick enough to require oxygen treatment, so dexamethasone should now become standard of care in these patients. Dexamethasone is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide."

Meanwhile, a new study from Iceland claims coronavirus antibodies can last at least four months. 

“Our results indicate that antiviral antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 did not decline within 4 months after diagnosis,” the authors wrote. Read the study here.

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