A French study involving 80 patients infected with the COVID-19 virus being treated with a drug cocktail yielded promising results.
Dr. Mehmet Oz spoke with the doctor in charge of the study, Dr. Didier Raoult, who said 65 of the 80 patients involved in the trial were back home in five days. The participants took a combination of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin.
One of the patients — "an 86-year-old man who was very ill when he came," Dr. Oz said — died during the trial.
There were no complications in any of the other patients who took the drugs to fight the coronavirus that has spread to nearly every corner of the globe since it first cropped up in Wuhan, China, late last year.
Raoult said he is "very optimistic" about the study's findings and noted that he would be comfortable taking the drug cocktail himself if he had to.
The FDA approved an emergency use of hydroxychloroquine to treat a limited number of coronavirus patients in New York City. It does carry the risk of side effects and one person has died after taking a form of it as a preventative measure.
Still, Dr. Oz said the drug combination has promise in the fight against the virus that has sickened more than 730,000 worldwide and killed 35,000. In the U.S., more than 140,000 cases and roughly 2,500 deaths have been reported.
"At five days, these patients were basically not infectious, he argues, and they could be transferred to the ward," Dr. Oz said.
Dr. Oz added, "On average, the mortality rate for [coronavirus] patients in France coming to the hospital was about 4%. In his case, in 80 patients, one patient died. … [Raoult] said that's not something that you can hang your hat on, but it's certainly not trending worse and it seems to be meaningfully better."
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