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Lung phototherapy could expedite COVID-19 treatment

A procedure to boost lung immunity to COVID-19 could potentially reduce the need for multiple daily injections of powerful immunosuppressants that may exacerbate viral infections, according to autopsy studies undertaken in China.

Cells in the tissues, aspects of which have been destroyed by the virus, could be revived using cells grown outside the body’s own body and transported to the lungs of patients who remain hospitalized.

Researchers say that using this kind of culture, they could alter what currently needs a total three-month wait for a patient with moderate COVID-19 to receive first blood transfusions. They also plan to screen for patients to match those with poor outcomes.

China, a key global hotspot for coronaviruses, has been hard-hit by the spread of the flu-like coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, causing almost 800, 000 cases and 36, 000 deaths.

Although widely used in recent flu seasons, the immunotherapeutic drug temozolomide (TMZ) was weakened by the toxic side-effects of the new coronavirus, which has led to its ban in many health care centers.

A therapy that blocks NMZ, which is common in recent flu seasons, is designed to combat the virus by inhibiting metabolic activity, or the body’s use of oxygen-supporting energy, Richard Wilson, the first author of a study describing the method, told Reuters Health in an exclusive interview.

“DO YOU NEED MORE?”In the March analysis of more than 9, 800 patients who had tested negative for the virus based at a hospital in the northern Chinese city of Hangzhou, the ICU mortality rate was 43 percent. At the end of March, it rose to 97 percent.

The rate for those with moderate COVID-19 showed no sign of decreasing beyond a year, Wilson said.

“The strategy of first identifying cases where they’re mildest is the gold standard, ” he said. “That’s a measure that will be useful if we are to achieve real response. ”

The researchers suspect COVID-19 remains highly infectious after prolonged periods in patients’ lungs, where the drug is degraded, he said.

“The absence of symptoms is a big deal. But if you have a period of time remaining and then you see no symptoms, that is a clinically significant difference, ” he said. “Being able to get that systemic infection out is important. Otherwise, we’re staying in the same arena. ”

Wilson and his colleague David Riemann, a blood-protection researcher, caution that “We don’t know exactly how long an increase will last. ”

It’s also unclear if an increase in the use of temozolomide in patients’ lungs will help control the COVID-19 disease, or whether the primates will develop symptoms but not interact. “I don’t know much about that. All I can tell you is, is that it doesn’t look like temozolomide is going to be needed to wipe out the virus, ” he said.

The perils of surgeryTo address possible nosology, Wilson started by posting a USA Today Op-Ed on EFFAC (Electronic and Environmental Foundation, International Editorial) titled “Temozolomide During COVID Treatment Could Shorten Time to Response”. That piece appeared online on May 20 without special designating time for the article.

Riemann, who publishes the journal Scientific Reports, also wrote an Op-Ed that was posted on our news feed that accompanied the article. “It was an op-ed, ” he told Reuters Health by email. “I am a journalist, but I wanted to write something on the subject as well. ”

Further research is under way as more of the information is entered into the database, the authors said.

A system developed by the University of Michigan who will simultaneously manage and publish the COVID-19 data is permitting patients at SARS-CoV-2-positive hospitals to receive temozolomide, Wilson said.

He also pointed out that this kind of monitoring of COVID-19 patients is possible outside China, which could greatly shorten the time until widespread testing is carried out.

“This is a nice bonus statistic that the authors cite when they talk about the ‘difficult’ treatment of COVID-19 patients in China, ” he said. “We understand that hard-to-treat COVID-19 patients prefer intravenous therapy. Beyond that, there is a fact that Chinese people are sicker than those in the West. ”(For an an