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Dexamethasone is only a supplementary treatment, KCDC chief says

Dexamethasone is only a supplementary treatment, KCDC chief says

Posted June. 18, 2020 07:35,   

Updated June. 18, 2020 07:35


A team of researchers in the UK has reported successful clinical results of a COVID-19 treatment, attracting the attention of the global health industry.

According to BBC on Tuesday (local time), a joint research team led by a team from Oxford University gave dexamethasone, a steroid drug, to more than 2,000 COVID-19 patients. As a result, the drug reduced the risk of death by 28-40 percent for seriously ill patients on ventilators. It cut the risk of death by 20-25 percent for patients on oxygen. When injected to 20 COVID-19 patients on self-quarantine, 19 people got better without being hospitalized.

Dexamethasone, which is a type of corticosteroid medication that lowers inflammation, is typically used to treat allergy, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma. The research team said the drug is most effective to seriously ill patients. The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomed the finding by saying that the drug is a major breakthrough in treating COVID-19.

Meanwhile, South Korean health authorities have taken a cautious approach. Jung Eun-Kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, said the drug is more like a supplementary treatment that lowers inflammation rather than a fundamental treatment against COVID-19. She added consultations with clinical specialists are necessary to decide if it requires more systemic clinical trials.

Youn-Jong Kim zozo@donga.com