"Best news so far": Dexamethasone steroid treatment for coronavirus hailed by UK
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Jun 17, 2020, 07:30 pm
Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock hailed the use of the dexamethasone steroid drug for the treatment of coronavirus patients as the "best news so far" since the deadly infection's outbreak. Trials results showed that dexamethasone proved efficient in reducing death rates by a third in severely affected COVID-19 patients admitted in the hospital. The generic steroid has for a long time been used for the treatment of inflammation caused by other diseases namely arthritis.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock during an interaction with the media on Wednesday said, "It does increase your chances of survival quite significantly,". He added, "It is one of the best pieces of news we've had through this whole crisis. It reduces your chances of dying when you are on a ventilator,". Hancock further stated, "It is brilliant news for everybody." In addition, he spoke about how the drug showed potential first in February with positive signals coming in March and the government subsequently beginning to buy it in April.
The UK trial of dexamethasone was led by a team from Oxford University who gave the generic steroid drug to around 2,000 patients in hospitals and compared the results with over 4,000 other patients who were not administered the drug. Findings in the trial showed that the risk of death was cut from 40% to 28% for patients who were put on ventilators while the risk of death was reduced from 25% to 20% in patients who required oxygen.