Asthma drug brings hope for COVID-19 treatment

A steroid commonly used in asthma inhalers has the potential to prevent severe COVID-19 symptoms. It could treat the illness early on and help to reduce pressure on hospitals.

  • Author Louisa Wright, Madelaine Pitt Date 13.04.2021

A common asthma medication that can be used at home might be an effective treatment for early COVID-19 in adults, according to a study published in The Lancet medical journal.

University of Oxford researchers found that patients who took the drug budesonide when their first COVID-19 symptoms started were less likely to need urgent medical care or hospitalization, and had a shorter recovery time. It also reduced the chance of persistent symptoms and fever.

The randomized controlled trial involved 146 adults within seven days of the onset of mild COVID-19 symptoms. Half of the participants inhaled budesonide twice a day until their symptoms resolved, and the other half received the usual care given based on age, gender and existing illnesses.

In the budesonide group, only one person needed urgent medical care, compared to 10 people in the group who received the standard care for COVID-19.

Another University of Oxford study that has yet to be peer reviewed also found that inhaled budesonide helped people who were at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes recover quicker.

“There’s good biological plausibility” for why corticosteroids would work, Chloe Bloom, a senior clinical research fellow at Imperial College London’s National Heart and Lung Institute, told DW. Bloom was not involved in the study.

Corticosteroids like dexamethasone are already being used effectively in hospitalized, severely ill COVID-19 patients. Bloom said researchers think it likely reduces the inflammation associated with severe COVID-19. Budesonide probably works in a similar way, but may be more localized.

Studies have also shown that the use of inhaled steroids in people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) reduced the receptor that allows Sars-CoV-2 into the lungs, said Bloom, and lab work has shown that inhaled steroids can possibly prevent virus replication.

For More Information: https://www.dw.com/en/asthma-drug-brings-hope-for-covid-19-treatment/a-57174301

COVID-19: Current understanding of its Pathophysiology, Clinical presentation and Treatment

Authors: Anant Parasher

Abstract

Background The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus-2 is a novel coronavirus belonging to the family Coronaviridae and is now known to be responsible for the outbreak of a series of recent acute atypical respiratory infections originating in Wuhan, China. The disease caused by this virus, termed coronavirus disease 19 or simply COVID-19, has rapidly spread throughout the world at an alarming pace and has been declared a pandemic by the WHO on March 11, 2020. In this review, an update on the pathophysiology, clinical presentation and the most recent management strategies for COVID-19 has been described.

Results and Conclusions COVID-19 has now spread globally with increasing morbidity and mortality among all populations. In the absence of a proper and effective antibody test, the diagnosis is presently based on a reverse-transcription PCR of nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab samples. The clinical spectrum of the disease presents in the form of a mild, moderate or severe illness. Most patients are either asymptomatic carriers who despite being without symptoms have the potential to be infectious to others coming in close contact, or have a mild influenza-like illness which cannot be differentiated from a simple upper respiratory tract infection. Moderate and severe cases require hospitalisation as well as intensive therapy which includes non-invasive as well as invasive ventilation, along with antipyretics, antivirals, antibiotics and steroids. Complicated cases may require treatment by immunomodulatory drugs and plasma exchange therapy. The search for an effective vaccine for COVID-19 is presently in full swing, with pharmaceutical corporations having started human trials in many countries.

This article is made freely available for use in accordance with BMJ’s website terms and conditions for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic or until otherwise determined by BMJ. You may use, download and print the article for any lawful, non-commercial purpose (including text and data mining) provided that all copyright notices and trade marks are retained.

For More Information:

https://bmj.com/coronavirus/usage

http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/postgradmedj-2020-138577

https://pmj.bmj.com/content/97/1147/312

How To Increase Platelet Count In COVID Patients? What Is Thrombocytopenia?

Authors: Ananya Varma

Platelets are said to play an important role in inflammatory signalling. Here is why it is important to keep a check of Platelet count in COVID patients. 

Given that COVID-19 is a relatively novel disease, newer research continues to emerge into its characteristics with scientists now linking rapidly decreasing platelets to be a symptom of the infectious virus. Genetically linked to the 2002 SARS-CoV-1 virus, research has now drawn a link between Thrombocytopenia (a condition with low platelets) to the severity of a COVID-19 infection. Here is why it is important to keep a check of Platelet count in COVID patients. 

Platelet Count in COVID patients

As per a recent study, Platelets are said to play an important role in inflammatory signaling as well as in the infectious response of Coronavirus. An analysis of 7,613 COVID-19 patients revealed that patients with severe COVID had a lower platelet count than those with the non-severe disease. Moreover, mild Thrombocytopenia was also detected in those who had severe cases of COVID-19, that is those patients with a lower platelet count. 

Thrombocytopenia & COVID

A normal platelet count in human body ranges from 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood. Having less than 150,000 platelets is known as Thrombocytopenia. Older research has shown that of the patients affected by the 2003 SARS epidemic, 20–55% had Thrombocytopenia and these patients experienced greater morbidity/mortality. In a similar way, Thrombocytopenia has also been detected in 5–41.7% of COVID-19 patients and mild Thrombocytopenia has been detected in 58–95% of severe cases of COVID-19. Notably, severely affected patients had a platelet count only 23 ×109/L to 31 ×109/L lower than those with the non-severe disease.

For More Information: https://www.republicworld.com/india-news/general-news/how-to-increase-platelet-count-in-covid-patients-what-is-thrombocytopenia.html

Bell’s Palsy after second dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination in a patient with history of recurrent Bell’s palsy

Authors: Michael Repajic,a Xue Lei Lai,a Prissilla Xu,b and Antonio Liua,∗

Abstract

Objective

To report a patient with history of recurrent Bell’s Palsy who developed Bell’s Palsy 36 ​h after the administration of the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Case

The patient is a 57-year-old female with past medical history of 3 episodes of Bell’s Palsy. She responded to prednisone treatment and returned to her baseline after each occurrence. Less than 36 ​h following the second dose of the vaccine, the patient developed a left Bell’s Palsy. The facial droop progressed in severity over the next 72 ​h.

Conclusion

Given the expedited production of the vaccine and the novelty associated with its production, there may be information pertaining to side effects and individual response that remain to be discovered. Since both the Moderna and Pfizer Vaccine trials reported Bell’s Palsy as medically attended adverse events, the association between vaccine administration and onset of symptomatic Bell’s Palsy may warrant further investigation.

For More Information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7874945/