The MERS virus continues to plague Saudi Arabia, yet a combination of anti-virus drugs that is hoped to help curb MERS is now in the works by medical experts. Testing so far has only been done on monkeys deliberately infected with MERS, and the results of this has been relatively positive, WebProNews shares this Monday, Sept. 9, as autopsies on the animals showed less lung damage and a reduction of overall virus tissues in the body.
While this MERS virus recently killed three people in Saudi Arabia this month, the latest medical research is showing that a drug cocktail — or a new combination of pre-existing drugs used together in certain doses — might soon be used to help patients who have contracted the deadly MERS coronavirus this 2013. Although there is still no vaccine available, the combination of drugs might be particularly used to lengthen the lifespan and lessen overall health damage in extreme cases of the virus if successful.
This latest research, which is being conducted through controversial animal testing on animals, delves into limiting the power of the disease through the macaque monkey. These monkeys are first infected with the MERS virus, then given the anti-virus drug combination — including interferon alpha 2b and ribavirin — and the results revealed that those animals who received the recent cocktail were not as sick as those that weren’t offered any of the breakthrough therapy.
Initial tests to reduce MERS’ effects were only conducted on monkeys’ kidney cells, but when conducted on the animals, the research shows that the number of virus-ridden cells and overall lung damage was also relieved through the treatment.
“Everything fit together towards suggesting that treatment definitely helps lead to a better outcome than the absence of treatment,” said one Canadian scientist working the anti-virus study to combat the MERS virus. “This is a good sign for future patients.”
MERS recently made news again after three new counts were recorded breaking out in Saudi Arabia, where the victim count has risen to nearly 100.