Authorities have confirmed the first person has been cured of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Wuhan, Hubei province, China where the disease originated.
Chen, who lived in the city for many years, developed fever and fatigue on Jan. 10 before being hospitalized on Jan. 12. After days of tests, including two independent blood tests, pulmonary CT scans and treatment, the woman was deemed cured of the virus. It was unclear what type of medications the doctors used on Chen.
The Daily Express claimed physicians are now setting up trial runs using a wonder drug used to treat HIV/AIDS called Nelfinavir.
In a 2004 study, Nelfinavir, a protease inhibitor drug, “strongly inhibited relation of the SARS coronavirus,” which leads to the decrease of toxins in already infected cells. It also concluded that the drug “could decrease the production of virus from cells.”
Nelfinavir, along with other protease inhibitors like lopinavir, ritonavir and ribavirin, were all used to successfully treat severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at Harvard School of Public Health, said experts in Galveston are using protease inhibitors to tackle the 2019-nCoV.
Meanwhile, Yuen Kwok-yung, a microbiologist at the University of Hong Kong, told citizens in China not to worry and also confirmed the use of protease inhibitors to combat the coronavirus infection.
As of Jan. 27, there have been 2,823 confirmed cases in China, with more than 80 patients confirmed dead, according to the official statistics by the Chinese state media.
The disease has already reached other Asian countries, including Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. The first case in the United States was first reported in Washington. However, recent updates said there are now five confirmed cases of the virus in the country, CNN reported.
Although the exact source of the virus remains undetermined, health officials in China believe it could have originated from wild animals being sold at the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan.
Chen joins Yang, a 46-year-old man who became the first person to recover from the virus in Zhejiang province, China, CGTN reported. The man underwent treatment for a week before being discharged from the hospital.
Feature Image Screenshot via South China Morning Post