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Researchers gain insights on coronavirus | Updated: 2020-05-10 13:58
Medical workers in Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province, on Jan 24, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

A prospective new therapy for severe COVID-19 patients was proposed in an article published in the March 20 edition of Emerging Microbes & Infections by Li Taisheng and Cao Wei of the Department of Infectious Medicine at Peking Union Medical College Hospital.

They suggest the potential use of intravenous immunoglobulin combined with a variant of the drug heparin.

The research team also took the lead in proposing how the novel coronavirus progresses through the body. Once that is thoroughly understood, the possibilities for interventions expand.

"We observed in a clinical setting that severe COVID-19 patients may develop a condition called disseminated intravascular coagulation," Li said, adding that it may be possible to improve the outlook of such patients.

The therapy significantly decreased the death rate of critically ill patients in the intensive care unit at Sino-French New City Branch of Tongji Hospital, where Peking Union Medical Colleague Hospital's medical team has worked.
"Timing in initiating the therapy is the key," Li said.

Li's team is thought to be the first to discuss hypotheses about how the coronavirus infection moves through the human body.

The virus might pass through the respiratory tract and enter the peripheral blood, before entering the lungs again for a secondary attack.

In another development, Li and Cao further highlight the pathogenesis of COVID - 19 in a paper published online in Cell Research on April 28.

Lin Ling, Fu Tanping contributed to the story

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