In the newspaper, on TV, on Social Media, you can hear about the COVID-19 vaccine that has officially been rolled out and is being administered to the first round of people.

However, the vaccine is just part of the scenario when it comes to getting past this whole COVID-19 thing. Treatment is just as important when dealing with the virus, which is why a team of scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have been working on it.

The team of scientists has identified the mechanisms that drive COVID-19 inflammation and the medicines that can treat it. The virus triggers severe inflammation that targets the lungs and other organs.

Cytokines, small proteins released in the body in response to inflammation, were the main focus for possible treatment. When testing drugs that are already used to treat cytokine reactions the test mice were protected from COVID-19 death and from sepsis, a deadly infection of the blood.

These drugs have now been approved for clinical trials in patients. St. Jude researcher, Thirumala-Devi Kanneganti, Ph.D, spoke with WMC Action New 5 in Memphis and stated

I’ve never been this excited in my entire career, because this can save lives. The other studies that we have in our lab, they might go into textbooks, and in the long run, they might be in the clinic. But this immediate application is the best thing. I wish starting tomorrow we could treat patients with this.

The full published findings can be found here: https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(20)31542-7

 

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