COVID-19: A lead researcher explains why an antibiotic be the answer to our prayers

A research team from California are studying the effectiveness of antibiotic- Azithromycin in treating mild cases of COVID-19.

With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing every day and the number of lives being claimed, experts are advocating pre-existing drugs in a desperate attempt to treat and contain the deadly COVID-19.

Recently a research team from the University of California, San Francisco has decided to investigate the effects of a common antibiotic- Azithromycin to treat patients suffering mild to moderate cases of COVID-19.

The nationwide trial is called Azithromycin for COVID-19 Treatment, Investigating Outpatients Nationwide, or ACTION for short. The researchers are currently recruiting participants for the study. The trial was designed to compare the antibiotic with placebo.

The team has previously been working with azithromycin for the past 20 years, and though antibiotics are not used to treat viral infections, from the previous study the antibiotic was used to treat trachoma control, a viral infection of the eye. Hene the researchers decided to use it against COVID-19.

“There are a lot of other trials going on with hydroxychloroquine, and we didn’t really feel like we needed to get involved in that because that was outside of our area of expertise. That [is why] we’re looking at Azithromycin by itself”, stated Catherine Oldenburg, Sc.D., co-principal investigator.

She also added that “given the safety profile of Azithromycin, that this [drug] could be potentially valuable [in treating COVID-19], and to have that kind of evidence would be really useful”.

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