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Australian Researcher Claim that They've Found a "Cure" for the Corona Virus


Pictured: A coronavirus cell. The virus often causes respiratory infections in humans
A doctor who specializes in infectious diseases believes his team may have found a cure for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The disease has killed more than 6,500 people globally - including five Australians - since it was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

But researchers at the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research believe two drugs may eradicate the virus entirely. The first is a medication used to suppress HIV, while the other is an anti-malaria treatment known as chloroquine, which has been largely forgotten due to increased genetic resistance to the mosquito-borne disease.

Professor David Paterson hopes to have patients enrolled in a clinical trial of both drug by the end of March. He said it wouldn't be wrong to consider the drugs a possible 'treatment or cure' for the deadly respiratory infection.  Professor Paterson said one of the medications was given to some of the patients, who were first identified as carriers in Australia, and appeared to lead to the 'disappearance of the virus'.  He told news.com.au it's a 'potentially effective treatment' that should be considered for a large scale medical trial immediately. 

'What we want to do at the moment is a large clinical trial across Australia, looking at 50 hospitals, and what we're going to compare is one drug, versus another drug, versus the combination of the two drugs,' Professor Paterson said. 

While the treatment has proven successful in some patients carrying COVID-19, Professor Paterson said testing hadn't been undertaken in a controlled or measured way.

The decision to test the drug was first made after Chinese people in Australia who returned a positive reading suggested the treatment after hearing positive anecdotes from sufferers in mainland China.

'That first wave of Chinese patients we had (in Australia), they all did very, very well when they were treated with the HIV drug,' Professor Paterson said. 
 This graphic details the symptoms of coronavirus, and how they differ to a standard cold or flu

Professor Paterson, an infectious disease physician, has launched a fundraising appeal alongside the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital to raise money to support the clinical trials.  The Coronavirus Action Fund hopes to raise $750,000 to go toward understanding and better treating COVID-19. A statement from the organizers says research and trials will be underway as soon as funding is secured. 

At least 350 Australians have been infected with coronavirus since late January, and that number is predicted to soar in the coming weeks. Hospitals have resorted to creating drive-through testing facilities while other potential carriers have been forced to wait for hours at testing clinics before they're examined by the health officials as the health system struggle to cope with increased demand.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard says there have been 37 new cases in the 24 hours to 11am on Monday which he described as a 'dramatic increase'. There are 1282 cases under investigation at the moment with 25,500 people tested to date.

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