Welcome to another MedCram COVID-19 update. A quarter of a million people confirmed infected worldwide. There were over 10,000 deaths and 86,000 total recovered. If we look on the Worldometer chart of individual countries, Italy has by far the most active cases here at 33,000 and has the most number of total cases per million population.
The United States has jumped up to about 14,000 total cases. In terms of total cases per million, we’re at 43; that maybe because of low testing although that seems to be getting better here slowly.
I wanted to show you something that I received; it’s called the Handbook of COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment, and this is actually published by Professor Tingbo Liang, and he goes through various things. He has a forward at the beginning, and the content is anything from staff management to imaging findings on COVID-19 patients, all the way to ECMO support for COVID-19 patients. What’s going on with this, I think, is very important, is just the experience and the information for us because they’ve gone through this already. I will leave a link in the description below.
Other big news, hydroxychloroquine was fast-tracked by the FDA yesterday, March 19th. The data for this medication is not the rigorous data that the FDA would usually want to have, which is a pretty extensive randomized controlled trial with placebo Etc. That still has not been done, but because of the situation and because there was some early data out of France that seemed to show that it was positive, and of course we here at MedCram have been looking at this drug for some time, saying that it was a promising medication at least on the in vitro side of things, we can see why that happened.
This hydroxychloroquine is also known as Plaquenil. It’s a medication that’s used in patients with lupus. For instance, I called around specifically today to different pharmacies, and there was none available where there was last week; there was absolutely none available today. Of course, this brings up issues about drug availability and the ability for any of our resources that we have, whether it’s personnel, whether it’s physicians, health care providers in general, beds, ventilators, medications, do we have enough to meet the surge with this many people getting sick all at the same time?
There’s a news article in the Duluth News Tribune that was published a couple of days ago, and it’s looking at the fact that there are a lot of health care professionals that are contracting COVID-19. Is there a way that we can test to see whether Hydroxychloroquine might prevent that? We see here that David Boulware is actually starting a study to see whether or not we can reduce the number who get sick by 50% of these health care providers. In this study, the volunteers are going to get either the medication or placebo.
Also, news last night, Governor Newsom of California locked down the entire state. Of course, that’s relevant to where we are here as I live in Southern California, with his prediction being that 56% of the state residents will be infected with coronavirus in the next eight weeks.
Of course, the big news a couple of days ago was this new medication called Favipiravir which may be effective in coronavirus. Let’s go over the results of that.
So the trial looked at the intervention group for Favipiravir and Lopinavir and Ritonavir. There were 35 people in the treatment group and 45 people in the control group. Interestingly, the New England Journal of Medicine article that we talked about yesterday showed that this was basically no different than placebo. Number one, they looked at the clearance of the virus in terms of days, then how long it took for the fever to go down for it? How many was the fever gone within two days? They want to know whether or not the chest x-ray improved, and they wanted to know if there were any adverse reactions.
These were statistically significant. In terms of viral clearance and days, it took 4 days in the treatment group and 11 days in the control group, so it is statistically significant that was p-value of less than 0.001. In terms of fever gone at 2 days, that was seen in 72% of the treatment group but only 26% of the control group; in terms of chest x-ray improvement, that was seen in 91% of the treatment group and only 62% of the control group, and interestingly in terms of adverse reactions, that was only seen in 11.4%, but in the control group adverse reactions were seen in about 56%.
Okay. Well, we’ll be back soon for our next update. Thanks for joining us.