What you should know about experimental therapies for coronavirus
Antivirals and blood therapy sound promising, but how do they work, and when will we know if they truly treat COVID-19?
Weekends haven’t existed for Lisa Gralinski in quite some time. Most days, the microbiologist spends 12 hour shifts at a secure biosafety facility on the campus of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Wearing protective clothing and a respirator, she works inches away from a murderer’s row of potentially lethal coronaviruses, including the strain behind the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the meantime, hospitals have turned to repurposing treatments that have already been approved for other diseases. That’s why you’ve heard so much about the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir, and treatments involving convalescent plasma, a product derived from recovered patients’ blood that could help a newly infected person’s immune system fight the virus.
Currently, doctors can give these medications