It started out as a tickle in his throat before bed, but by the next morning, it felt like the worst flu ever. And by the time Kevin Harris was admitted to a hospital in Ohio five days later, he thought he was suffocating. The doctors at St. Joseph Hospital in Warren were certain Harris, 55, had pneumonia — but three days later, they had the real diagnosis: coronavirus. One of the doctors had tears in his eyes when Harris asked if he would live. Another doctor just shrugged and mumbled, “I don’t know. They told me they didn’t have a cure,” Harris told The Post from his hospital room, where he was still hooked up to oxygen Tuesday night. “I just wanted them to tell me if I’m going to live or die.”
Harris, a father of four children with three grandchildren, believes he was exposed to the coronavirus at another hospital when he went in for an appointment that wound up being canceled. Within a couple of days, he said, he felt like he couldn’t clear his throat. He couldn’t stop coughing. By the next day, he had a fever and headaches. But the worst part was the body aches. On a scale of 1 to 10, he said, the pain was 15. “The pain is off the charts. Everything hurts, nose, toes and ears,” said Harris. “I was like one big ball of pain.” He said he cried “like a little girl” when he moved from his bed to a nearby chair. Three days after his first symptoms, he said, his fever had begun to wane, and it seemed like he might get better — but then it returned with a vengeance, and he felt like he was choking every time he breathed.
“It’s like having glass in your lungs,” says woman in ICU – NY Post
“Imagine your lungs turning solid. It’s like suffocating without holding your nose,” said Harris, who owns an auto body shop and typically runs 5 miles every day. “Every time I lay down, my breathing gets lower and lower. I thought my lungs would fail me. I was screaming for mercy and praying to God.” By the time Harris made it to the hospital, it was taking him an hour to move 50 feet to his bathroom — and he had to stop twice, lie on the floor and catch his breath before reaching the door. Yet he said his doctors were incredulous when he tested positive for the coronavirus — he was the hospital’s first case. When the doctors said they would try everything, Harris said, he was eager to fight. “The doctor said to me, ‘Look, I’ve been on the phone with people all over the world who are trying everything they can,’” remembers Harris. “’We are not going to let you die.’”
Harris said the doctors gave him a cocktail of vitamins — including lots of vitamin C — cough medicine, an experimental antiviral medication, a malaria vaccine and antibiotics. They told him they were trying to jump-start his immune system. They also told him to pray. –NY Post
On the verge of madness: People who have contracted the coronavirus have described symptoms including high fevers, a dry cough, and shortness of breath. While symptoms may differ from person to person, more than 79,000 people worldwide have recovered from the virus, according to experts at Johns Hopkins University. A.N., who preferred to only be identified by her initials, described a bout with COVID-19 that’s lasted for more than two weeks.
“Excuse me, but it feels like hell. I’ve had the flu before, it’s not even comparable. The fever is so high that you hallucinate,” she said. “I’m still having a fever, but it’s coming down slowly. I’m only at about 100.8 at the moment, which is a dramatic improvement.” –CBS
Anti-malarial Drug Chloroquine: A 2005 report published in the journal Virology first raised the possibility that chloroquine and its derivative hydroxychloroquine might be effective at treating COVID-19, Dr. Len Horovitz, an internist and pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told Live Science. The study revealed that chloroquine could prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV virus, which caused severe acute respiratory syndrome nearly 20 years ago, in primate cells grown in culture. Chloroquine interferes with the virus’s ability to replicate in two ways. First, the drug enters compartments called endosomes within the cell membrane. Endosomes tend to be slightly acidic, but the chemical structure of the drug boosts their pH, making the compartments more basic. Many viruses, including SARS-CoV, acidify endosomes in order to breach the cell membrane, release their genetic material and begin replication; chloroquine blocks this critical step.
The drug also prevents SARS-CoV from plugging into a receptor called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, or ACE2, on primate cells, according to the 2005 report. When the virus inserts its spike protein into the ACE2 receptor, it sets off a chemical process that alters the structure of the receptor and allows the virus to infect. An adequate dose of chloroquine appears to undermine this process, and in turn, viral replication in general, the authors noted. –Live Science
Promising results from an anti-viral in Japan: A drug used in Japan to treat influenza seems to be effective at treating the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, according to news reports. The antiviral drug, called Favipiravir or Avigan, showed positive outcomes in clinical trials involving 340 individuals in Wuhan and Shenzhen, said Zhang Xinmin, of China’s science and technology ministry, The Guardian reported. Developed by Fujifilm Toyama Chemical, the antiviral drug is being manufactured by Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical for treating influenza viruses. Last month, the drug reportedly received approval as an experimental treatment for COVID-19 infections, Pharmaceutical Technology reported.
Patients in Shenzhen who had tested positive for COVID-19 and who were given the drug got a negative virus test back four days later, as a median (half showed a negative test earlier and half later than four days). That was compared with a negative test about 11 days later, as a median, for patients not on the drug, according to news reports. In that same trial, lung conditions (as shown in X-rays) improved in about 91% of patients taking Favipiravir, compared with just 62% who weren’t taking the antiviral drug. –Live Science