Optimism grows that drugs from past outbreaks may treat coronavirus.

 By Christine Dolan | Just The News

Antivirals and other medicines created for past outbreaks like malaria, AIDS, and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) are being tested and showing early signs of success in treating the new coronavirus, experts say.

If the progress continues, medical experts in the United States could have a new regimen from drugs that are readily available and generally cheap to treat the most seriously infected patients and provide prophylactic protection for healthcare workers. 

When the Chinese first reported the pneumonia cases to the World Health Organization on December 31, 2019, the new coronavirus’ full genome, which defines its pathogen, was forwarded to researchers on public databases. 

What was discovered in early January 2020 was that the COVID-19 is in the same family as the coronaviruses that caused the outbreaks of both MERS and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) . 

Since then, scientists and pharmaceutical researchers across the globe have been laser-focused on antiviral drugs already approved and used to fight MERS and SARS as well as HIV. 

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