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, an expert 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 acknowleged 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 also said at the briefing on Sunday 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.