News from Australia in connection with the Covid – 19 pandemic.
Ben Hocking writing in the on-line ‘Your Health Choices,’ said in his article, “Aussie scientists discover Covid- 19 killer drug.
An Australian study has shown that an anti-parasitic drug kills the COVID-19 virus.
“A Monash University-led study has shown that an anti-parasitic drug, already available worldwide, kills the COVID-19 virus within 48 hours.
“Dr Kylie Wagstaff, who led the study, said the scientists showed that an approved anti-parasitic drug stopped the SARS-CoV-2 virus growing in cell culture within 48 hours.
“We found that even a single dose could essentially remove all viral RNA by 48 hours and that even at 24 hours there was a really significant reduction in it,” Dr Wagstaff said.
“The drug is an FDA-approved anti-parasitic drug that has also been shown to be effective in vitro against a broad range of viruses including HIV, dengue, influenza and Zika virus.
Dr Wagstaff cautioned that the tests conducted in the study were in vitro and that trials needed to be carried out in people.
“Royal Melbourne Hospital’s Dr Leon Caly, a senior medical scientist at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL) at the Peter Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity, where the experiments with live coronavirus were conducted, is the study’s first author.
“As the virologist who was part of the team who were first to isolate and share SARS-COV2 outside of China in January 2020, I am excited about the prospect of the anti-parasitic drug being used as a potential drug against COVID-19,” Dr Caly said.
“Victorian health minister Jenny Mikakos praised the researchers but also warned people against misusing the substance until it was fully tested.”
In a separate report published in the Guardian, Australian government experts are at odds with health department over using hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus
“Australian Health Protection Principal Committee says the anti-malaria drug must only be prescribed as part of a clinical trial, but department says doctors can prescribe
“The government’s expert panel on disease control has recommended against the use of a controversial anti-malarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, for treating coronavirus, directly contradicting the federal health department, which has told doctors they can prescribe it for patients.
“The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee – the peak body that manages health emergencies – said experimental use of medications such as hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 prevention and treatment was not recommended, and should only be prescribed as part of a clinical trial.
“But the Department of Health confirmed on Wednesday that as well as being used in clinical trials, the drugs may be given “in a controlled environment in the treatment of severely ill patients in hospital”.