Researchers and scientists have started their effort since 2019 to find an effective vaccine against COVID-19 that has spread across the world. They have been trying to develop drugs to treat COVID-19 and now they are looking for a way to prevent infection before someone is exposed to the virus that causes disease. The drug hydroxychloroquine which President Donald Trump said he was taking to avoid infection has given so much excitement. But several studies found that hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug cannot prevent infection.
Researchers Are Looking A Way To Prevent Before Getting Infected
Many studies are still ongoing to find the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine. As this anti-malarial drug has got much negative attention, scientists found it harder to conduct trials on it. Now researchers are looking a way to prevent virus before the person get infected.
“The idea of having a way of preventing the infection and/or symptoms remains a critical need,” said Dr. Susanna Naggie, vice dean for clinical research and an associate professor at the Duke University School of Medicine.
Different Approaches To Treat COVID-19
Dr. Susanna Naggie is helping to lead one of the largest clinical trials on hydroxychloroquine. She had hoped to finish her study in five to six months and due to the difficulty in getting health care workers to volunteer, she expects her study to take months longer. “The level of enthusiasm for something that is not hydroxychloroquine will be much higher.
The politicization of hydroxychloroquine, as well as the data that has come out in the inpatient setting, made a murky picture for this drug in particular. A prevention approach differs from a vaccine, though it may be useful in combination. A vaccine hopefully provides long-term protection; prophylaxis could help in the case of an exposure, or ongoing risk, such as to a health care worker,” Naggie said. Now the World Health Organization is trying different approaches to treat COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, and the combinations of drugs used to treat HIV(Lopinavir, and Ritonavir, and Lopinavir, and Ritonavir plus the multiple sclerosis drug Interferon beta-1a).
Even though the trails conducted in China on these drugs failed, there is a hope to use these drugs to prevent them before getting infected. Dr. Alexandra Kejnar found that the iodine that she uses to sterilize the nose and throat of her patients might help to prevent COVID-19.
“That’s what I wash my hands with before surgery. It’s also used for wound packing and sinus disease, and is relatively safe and affordable,” said Kejner, an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky.
Now she started trails on patients hospitalized for non-COVID-19 reasons and health care workers exposed to COVID-19 patients. Dr. Alexandra Kejnar hopes to have her trail results within two or three months. Dr. Michael Paasche-Orlow, a professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center said that The federal government of the USA is only focusing on hydroxychloroquine and not taking any other approaches. He also shared his wish such as the trails of Dr. Alexandra Kejnar should be started earlier and so the results will arrive sooner.