Doctors in Thailand have had some success treating coronavirus patients with a mixture of existing drugs more commonly used to treat HIV and influenza.
The treatment rapidly improved multiple patients' condition, according to Reuters. For instance, a 70-year-old woman tested positive for the coronavirus for ten days straight, but was cleared 48 hours after doctors tried the experimental treatment.
If more medical teams verify that the drugs help, health officials could have a valuable new weapon in their arsenal against the global 2019-nCoV outbreak.
"This is not the cure, but the patient’s condition has vastly improved," lung specialist Kriangska Atipornwanich of Bangkok's Rajavithi Hospital told Reuters. "The outlook is good but we still have to do more study to determine that this can be a standard treatment."
The Rajavithi doctors gave coronavirus patients the anti-HIV medications lopinavir and ritonavir as well as a heavy dose of the flu drug oseltamivir, according to Reuters.
Thailand's health ministry is still evaluating the successful treatments. Reuters reports that the ministry is expected to come up with guidelines for when they'll rely on the drug cocktail, as the unusually-high dosage of flu medication has given some doctors pause.
"Initially we will apply this approach only to severe cases," Somsak Akkslim, director-general of the Medical Services Department, told Reuters.
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READ MORE: Cocktail of flu, HIV drugs appears to help fight coronavirus: Thai doctors [Reuters]
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