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Thai doctors claim drug success against virus

Tourists wear masks while shopping at the Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok on Saturday. (Photo by Apichit Jinakul)

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Thai doctors have declared the use of anti-flu and AIDS drugs a success in reducing symptoms of coronavirus patients after using them on a Chinese woman.

Two doctors from Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok — Dr Kriangsak Atipornwanich, a physician, and Assoc Prof Dr Subsai Kongsangdao, a specialist — said at a briefing in Bangkok that improvements were seen in the 71-year-old woman 48 hours after administering the two groups of medications.

The woman was admitted first to Hua Hin Hospital and then transferred to Rajavithi Hospital on Jan 29.

After finding she had serious symptoms, the doctors decided to use oseltamivir, an anti-flu drug used to treat the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS), as well as lopinavir and ritonavir, two AIDS drugs.

Dr Kriangsak acknowledged that the Chinese had already been using AIDS medications on novel coronavirus patients.

"We checked related information and found anti-flu drugs were effective on MERS so we combined both groups of medications.     

“After poor lab tests for 10 days, the test finally turned positive after 48 hours of administering the medications. The treatment, as well as the recovery, is fast,” he said.

They noted they had reported the discovery to a medical journal and would use the drugs on additional patients. The two groups of drugs are effective on patients with serious symptoms, they said.

Doctors from the Public Health Ministry said the accumulated number of patients in Thailand stood at 19.

One was discharged, bringing the total number of treated cases to eight. Thirty-eight more met the criteria for investigation, bringing the total under investigation to 382, they said.

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Vocabulary:

accumulate : to get more and more of something over a period of time - เก็บสะสม, สะสม, สั่งสมมานาน

acknowledge : to accept or admit that something exists, is true or is real - ยอมรับ

admitted (verb): (of a hospital) accepted for medical treatment - รับ, ให้เข้า, การรับเข้า, อนุญาตให้เข้า

coronavirus (n): any of a group of viruses that cause a variety of diseases in humans and other animals -

criteria : a standard that is used for judging something or for making a decision about something - บรรทัดฐาน

discharge : to allow someone officially to leave somewhere, especially a hospital or a court of law - ได้รับอนุญาตให้ออกจาก

effective : producing the result that was intended - ได้ผลดี

flu : a very common infectious disease that lasts a short time and makes you feel hot or cold, weak, and tired - ไข้หวัดใหญ่

medication : a medicine, or a set of medicines or drugs used to improve a particular condition or illness - ยารักษาโรค

physician : a doctor, especially one who is a specialist in general medicine and not surgery - หมอ,แพทย์, นายแพทย์

specialist : a doctor who has specialised in a particular area of medicine - แพทย์เฉพาะทาง

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