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Review Article Open Access

A review for current treatment strategies and the role of antiviral medication as potential therapeutic interventions for Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak


Abstract Purpose Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infection caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that leads to pneumonia; it was first identified in China in late 2019. This is a new coronaviruses strain that has not been previously identified or studied in humans. The common symptom are cough and fever, similar to other respiratory tract infection. Early infected patients are difficult to detect, and the disease is rapidly spreading worldwide. Currently, there are no specific therapies or vaccines that are effective in treating or preventing this disease. Summary This review summarizes the current understanding of COVID-19, including the molecular characteristics and potential drug targets for SARS-CoV-2. Evidence-based therapeutic strategies and antiviral medications that could potentially be used in COVID-19 treatment are also described. Three agents, remdesivir, favipiravir, and chloroquine, have some efficacy data against SARS-CoV-2 in vivo or in vitro. However, this evidence is not conclusive enough to support any specific antiviral recommendations and more clinical evidence is needed. Conclusion Intensive randomized clinical trials for existing medications and experimental medications are needed to confirm their therapeutic effect for COVID-19 infection.

Alex C.Lin, Jingyi Wang and Bingfang yan


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