Coronavirus patient, 62, is ‘successfully treated’ with HIV drug in Spain in fresh hope for a cure – The Sun

A SPANISH coronavirus patient has recovered after being treated with an HIV and multiple sclerosis drug.

Miguel Angel Benitez, 62, made a full recovery at the Virgen del Rocio Hospital in Seville after being given the medicine that stops the bug multiplying in the blood.

Benitez — who became the country's first case last month — was treated with the antiretroviral drug lopinavir-ritonavir, sold under the brand name Kaletra.

This is usually used to treat HIV patients.

Doctors also injected Mr Benitez with beta interferons, proteins which reduce inflammation and  treat MS sufferers. 

The tablets, known as protease inhibitor drugs, stop the virus from multiplying in the blood.

The results that we have so far regarding its use against coronaviruses are encouraging

Coronavirus kills when it rapidly multiplies in the lungs, killing off cells and causing pneumonia. 

So far the highly infectious illness has affected more than 96,000 people and killed 3,300 people around the world. It is currently incurable and its feared it may be mutating.

Head of infectious diseases at Madrid’s Ramon y Cajal hospital, Santiago Moreno, told El Pais the virus was similar to HIV.

He said: "This enzyme is essential for the virus to replicate.

"The combination of lopinavir and ritonavir inhibits and blocks HIV. 

"The results that we have so far regarding its use against coronaviruses are encouraging." 

The World Health Organisation urged all countries to push this virus back, a call to action reinforced by figures showing there are now about 17 times as many new infections outside China as in it. 

To date, the virus has infected nearly 97,000 people and killed over 3,300.

Ian MacKay, who studies viruses at the University of Queensland in Australia, said: "The virus doesn't care about race and belief or colour. 

"It is attacking us all, equally. We're looking at a pandemic in all practical reality."


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