WACO, TX — Medical professionals have been working nonstop to find a cure for COVID-19. Recently, an antiviral medication has shown promise in early trials in speeding up the recovery time among hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sent Texas 30 cases of the drug remdesivir, enough to treat approximately 120 patients.
"It inserts itself into that enzyme complex and there by stops it and it stops making copies. So you make less viruses in your system thereby becoming less sick for less long," said Dr. Tim Martindale.
Tuesday, The Texas Department of State Health Services distributed 1,200 vials of remdesivir to 15 Texas hospitals, including Ascension Providence in Waco, which will get 40 vials, or one case.
"Couple of weeks ago, it was given the emergency clearance to be used, and they suggest it only be used for serious injuries and only in the hospital."
Dr. Martindale says there could still be complications with the drug but says it’s worth a try if it mean helping save lives.
"This is probably the strongest tool we have right now that has the best limited evidence we have for serious patience in the hospital, so it's hopeful but not a sure thing."
Preliminary results from a clinical trial showed the average recovery time among patients who received remdesivir was 11 days versus 15 with a placebo.
Medical staff at each hospital will determine how the drug will be used, though it must be prescribed in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization, allowing for the treatment of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in adults and children hospitalized with severe disease.
25 News reached out to Ascension providence, however, we are still waiting on a response about their plans.