Treatment of SARS, (severe acute respiratory syndrome),
Reported by: Joe Hing Kwok Chu
SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, is the new mysterious pneumonia like disease. It was first found in Guandong province of China. Now it is spreading over the world. It is thought to be originated from ducks and chickens.
As of today April 5, 2003, no drug has been proven effective in treatment of the new strain of viral infection.
Here is the good news from Hong Kong. Prof. Leung Ping-chung said that gamma globulin is successfully being used to treat SARS patients. Gamma globulin consists of sterilized antibodies pooled from the blood of recovered patients. Traditionally it is often used to treat people exposed to hepatitis A, measles, rubella and chickenpox viruses. Now it is being used on SARS patients in Hong Kong and he said that it had been very successful.
Ribavirin (a synthetic antiviral ribonucleoside) and steroid are being used in treating SARS but the results are not always satisfactory. There is a sharp increase in demand of Ribavirin in Asia.
An herb for treating common cold and influenza, ban lan gen, is in great demand in China. The herb is thought to possess properties to prevent SARS.
Links to SARS information:
Recent SARS statistic
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Public Health, Seattle and King County