Scientists Make ‘Major Breakthrough’ In Reducing Coronavirus Deaths

17 June 2020
Coronavirus, Covid-19, Self care
UK trials have found a cheap steroid can lower the risk of Covid-19 deaths

Scientists in the UK have found that a cheap and readily available steroid called dexamethasone can help save the lives of those seriously ill with the coronavirus.

According to the BBC, the discovery was made during the world’s largest drug trial, testing existing drugs for their efficacy against the novel coronavirus.

Those who were given the drug, a low-dose steroid, had their risk of death cut by a third when on a ventilator, and a fifth if they were on oxygen.

The Recovery Trial has been ongoing since March, testing a number of different drugs, including hydroxychloroquine, a drug which President Trump said he took, but was later withdrawn from the trial after it was suggested it increased deaths.

This trial, which comprised close to 2,000 people, saw them given the drug and compared to 4,000 who weren’t. The drug reduced deaths by from 40 percent to 28 percent for those on ventilators and 25 percent to 20 percent for those on oxygen.

The trial’s chief investigator, Professor Peter Horby told the BBC
"This is the only drug so far that has been shown to reduce mortality - and it reduces it significantly. It's a major breakthrough."

Professor Martin Landry, lead researcher on the study suggested that now, where appropriate hospitals in the UK should administer the treatment, but urged people not to go out and buy it to take at home.

Dexamethasone has been used in the UK to treat asthma and rheumatoid arthritis since the 1960s.