CLEVELAND — Since we first learned about COVID-19, nearly every scientific brain that could help find an answer has been working non-stop to do so. That includes local researchers in Northeast Ohio.
At University Hospitals (UH), there are 138 specific studies aimed at COVID, not just the virus, but what's next.
"What will happen if you survive covid? how are your lung and heart and all the long term consequences are going to look like," says UH VP of research Dr. Grace McComsey.
Dr. McComsey adds the results of these studies could be far reaching.
"A lot of the studies will be applicable to flu and other respiratory illnesses," she said.
There are two things that may be the back-pocket weapons doctors can use at first, antivirals and antibodies. They're working with Yale University on a new antiviral that will be available in an outpatient clinic. They're hoping to start recruiting for that study in the next week or so.
"People can take the pill at home seven days and they're done," Dr. McComsey said.
As for antibodies, they're studying something similar to what President Trump took, made in a lab.
"You manufacture those antibodies so they can block the virus from entering into more and more cells and block the viral protein," Dr. McComsey said.
The good news is some of the studies focusing on very sick patients have been either stopped or put on hold, because cases are turning toward milder infections and younger patients. But inflammation is also a dangerous aspect of the damage the virus can cause.
"We have fifteen studies aimed at decreasing inflammation the virus itself doesn't do anything what kills people is the inflammation that's induced by the virus ," she said.
They also need volunteers for this clinical research. Especially those who had COVID-19 and recovered. The hospital needs blood samples for the antibody research.
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