The news comes as the first case of death outside China has been reported – a 44-year-old Chinese woman who died in the Philippines. In the meantime, Chinese authorities have confirmed that the number of cured cases has reached 430, surpassing the current death toll of 360 with over 14,000 infected.
According to Thailand’s health ministry, a Chinese woman infected with the new coronavirus showed dramatic improvements after treated with an anti-viral cocktail used to treat flu and AIDS. The patient was tested negative 48 hours after Thai doctors administered the combination.
Not long ago, scientist in China have managed to trace the evolution of the virus in order to understand it with knowledge gained from previous coronavirus outbreaks (SARS and MERS). They initially discovered a string of genetic code that hasn’t been present in other coronavirus strains, but strikes considerable resemblance to strains found in the HIV virus. Another unusual trait is that the virus binds to the same receptors as HIV.
Doctors in Beijing have started using retrovirals normally employed in the treatment of AIDS. The treatment method has proven to be rather effective in the attempt to contain the outbreak. Also, to assist China in doing so, US drug companies have reportedly upped shipments of the drugs to the country to help curb the virus within China’s borders.
This time in Thailand, two doctors from Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok combined oseltamivir, an anti-flu drug used to treat MERS with lopinavir and ritonavir, two powerful AIDS drugs that have been associated with some success in China, to treat this Chinese female patient whose condition was rapidly worsening. “We checked related information and found anti-flu drugs were effective on MERS so we combined both groups of medications,” according to Doctor Kriangsak in the Hospital. After 48 hours, the lab result on the coronavirus turned negative.