WHO approves two new treatments for COVID-19

L&rsquo ;WHO approves two new treatments for COVID-19

After conducting more than seven clinical trials involving more than 4,000 patients with infection to more or less severe COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) approves two new treatments against the coronavirus, namely baricitinib and interleukin-6.

According to an international group of experts from the British Medical Journal (BMJ), developing the WHO guidelines, the drug baricitinib (known as Janus kinase or JAK, also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis) is strongly advised for severe COVID-19 patients. This drug would improve patient survival and reduce the need to ventilate them, without increasing adverse effects.

WHO experts also note that interleukin-6 (IL-6), which are drugs for arthritis, have similar effects to baricitinib. Therefore, when these two products are available, they suggest choosing them based on cost, availability, and clinical experience. It is not recommended to use these two drugs at the same time.

The biggest-wave

The exponential rate of spread of Omicron exceeds that of all other variants of the coronavirus, which brings us to the most important wave since the beginning of the pandemic, both in Quebec and globally. The discovery of the Omicron variant by South African researchers at the end of November 2021 had an immediate effect on this country and a dozen others on the continent.

“Last week, more than 15 million new cases of COVID-19 were reported to WHO worldwide. This is by far the most cases reported in a single week – and we know this is an underestimate. This huge spike in infections is due to the Omicron variant, which is rapidly replacing Delta in almost all countries,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press briefing on Tuesday.

Mr. Ghebreyesus, however, recalled that the number of deaths reported each week has remained stable since October last year, at an average of 48,000 deaths per week.

“ But let's be clear: while Omicron causes less severe disease than Delta, it remains a dangerous virus, especially for those who are not vaccinated,” said the WHO Director-General.

Previous Article
Next Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *