Here is what we know — and don’t know — about the drugs deployed against the SARS-like virus.
– Why anti-retrovirals? –
Two weeks ago Chinese doctors confirmed they had been giving anti-HIV drugs to coronavirus patients in Beijing, based on a 2004 study published after the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that showed “favourable” responses.
Used together, lopinavir and ritonavir decrease the amount of HIV cells in a patient’s blood, stripping back the virus’s ability to reproduce and attack the immune system.