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Health officials support antiviral drug to treat COVID-19

(WBRC)
Published: Jun. 17, 2021 at 10:09 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The United States is devoting $3.2 billion to speed development of antiviral pills to treat COVID-19 and other dangerous viruses that could turn into pandemics.

Officials with UAB said treatment and protection are two ways to address COVID-19 and an oral medication would help increase the treatment element.

UAB infectious disease expert Dr. Rachael Lee said the vaccine is doing a good job at addressing protection against the virus, but there has not been as much development in treatments.

She said there are only two ways to receive treatment for the virus. First is by going to an infusion center for antibody infusions and second is by being admitted to the hospital and getting a treatment of Remdesivir.

She said these treatments are helpful and effective, but an oral pill would make treating the virus easier and more accessible.

“An oral pill is a great option if you can really cut down the amount of virus that someone has in their system, then that makes them feel better and that is also something that helps prevent transmission to other people,” Lee said.

Dr. Lee said the pill would be similar to a treatment like Tamiflu, helping reduce the amount of virus in your body. She said she hopes it will help prevent hospitalizations in the future.

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