Just a few months ago, the thought of a disease affecting our ability to work, shop, and receive medical care was unimaginable. We are all currently experiencing the effects of Coronavirus and wondering when things will feel normal again. To get closer to normalcy, there is still a great need for research on the disease itself and treatments. Researchers believe the next step to transitioning back to normalcy depends on preventive care to slow the disease’s spread. Since there is no current vaccine available, researchers continue to investigate if current medications can slow the spread of COVID-19. To learn more about the preventive regimen approach, we invite you to read the full article.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.sciencemag.org

Researchers are diligently working  to find more information about COVID-19 as the number of cases continue to climb. Even though the world has been dealing with Coronavirus and its effects for months, very limited information has been obtained. Many estimate that it could take up to a year before the world makes a full recovery. At this time, researchers are investigating the most efficient way to complete normal activities as fast as possible. There is currently no vaccine for Coronavirus and researchers are unaware of the amount of time needed to find one. Experiments are being conducted to see if a preventive regimen can slow the transmission of the disease.


One of the new COVID experiments will be conducted by Nicholas White. White believed the best approach is to first protect health care professionals so they can work with patients until a better treatment is found. Health care professionals are extremely vulnerable since they are constantly exposed to COVID-19 and have limited access to personal protective equipment. Medical professionals in poorer countries are at an extremely high risk of contracting the disease due to limited resources. For that reason, a preventive regimen may be essential. According to Kai Kupferschmidt of The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), “White and his colleagues at the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit wondered whether widely available drugs could help. They have designed a trial in which 40,000 doctors and nurses in Asia, Africa, and Europe will prophylactically receive chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, two old drugs against malaria.”


These types of studies are very difficult to conduct due to strict regulations regarding human testing. White plans to have participants in both the test and control group use their preventive regimen or placebo and document their symptoms and temperature throughout a three-month period with use of an app or website. For this research to be useful, some of the participants if not all must be exposed to COVID-19 and/or infected. If this trial is successful, we can be one step closer to recovery and normalcy.


While the experiments are still ongoing, researchers consider some of the negative impacts we may see. Since there is a lot of pressure to find some type of treatment for Coronavirus, the public may take matters into their own hands. Places such as Bangladesh have started using the preventive regimen approach to decrease the spread of the disease, which has many concerned. These medications have not been proven to protect against COVID, and researchers warn against taking medications unnecessarily since each medication has its own side effects.


Since the treatments are currently in the testing phase, there is concern about an unaccounted potential spike in Coronavirus cases. Many people believe that they are protected against the disease because they are using a preventive regimen and may not be as cautious as they would have been prior to use of medication. Lastly, this approach may affect the accessibility of the drugs, since Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine are used to treat multiple conditions. If that medication is used in large amounts, it may be less accessible to those that are using it for non COVID related treatment. The increased use may lead to a price increase.


There is more research required to determine if this approach could help protect against Coronavirus. Researchers believe that it’s more beneficial  to work to prevent a disease, than to treat the disease since it can be fatal. Researchers are stilling striving to determine if the benefits of this approach outweigh the risks associated with  this method.


For more information about the preventive regimen approach and other proposed experiments, read the full article at the AAAS website.


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