The immune system is usually seen as our ally in fighting disease, but in the case of coronavirus, it can sometimes turn into our foe. A phenomenon known as a cytokine storm has been implicated in many fatal cases of COVID-19, and several drugs are currently being tested to calm this storm and raise patients’ chances of survival.
These drugs are known as anti-C5 drugs as they prevent a molecule named C5 from triggering the complement system to produce cytokines, which are known to cause inflammation in the body.
Over-activation of cytokines (also known as a cytokine storm) has also been associated with many other diseases such as asthma, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
As noted, several drugs are already being tested for use in serious cases of coronavirus, in hospitals in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Trials are ongoing, but the drugs are already showing promise. One that looks especially encouraging is Ravulizumab, which is already in use for treatment of certain rare blood diseases.
At a briefing on treatment of coronavirus in the UK on Thursday, reported on by The Telegraph, Professor Paul Morgan of Cardiff University told those assembled that:
“Switching off C5 can have a big effect. We and others have used anti-C5 blocking agents in small scales on very severe Covid patients with very promising results. These were people who had reached the stage where there was no further therapy for them; they were on ventilators, and really at death’s door … [some] have made startling recoveries. Of course these are small numbers, but these drugs are now in large-scale clinical trials, and we want to see the outcomes of those in the not-too-distant future.”
Are these drugs widely available for use in other countries?
One can only speculate on the reasons why doctors such as Soroka hospital’s Dr. Uri Galanta (who works in the coronavirus ICU in the Beer Sheva medical center), are telling media outlets that “there are no effective drugs for treating coronavirus.”
Studies and anecdotal evidence from hospitals around the world have already proven that this is very far from being the case. Perhaps people should be becoming better educated on which medical protocols hospitals are using before deciding where to send their loved ones for treatment?
Source: Arutz Sheva