Coronacast - How will fancy new antivirals help fight COVID?

On Coronacast with Norman Swan
Posted: Mon 7 Feb 2022, 1:01am

When it comes to ways to fight COVID-19, vaccines have been the main tool we've used so far during the pandemic.
But new antivirals are being produced for use including in Australia which has recently provisionally approved two different drugs.
They promise to help stop at-risk people ending up in hospital and dying.
So what are the drugs, how do they work and will they usher in a new way of handling the pandemic?

Professor Josh Davis, Infectious Diseases, Uni Newcastle, past president of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases and member of the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce

The Australian - Top doctors predict Covid-19 drugs could ease pressure on hospitals

By Natasha Robinson
Posted: Tue 09 Nov 2021

"I think it’s a great advance and what’s attractive about these oral antiviral agents is that they’re much simpler to use and distribute than the intravenous therapies or other monoclonal antibodies,” Professor Tong said. “Vaccines will still be the first line of defence, and then the patients who get through that initial net will have these back-up options of oral antivirals and the monoclonal antibody treatments.”

“It will be really significant in helping to manage the resource of hospital beds and avoiding hospital admission, and it will help prevent the Australian healthcare system from being overwhelmed,” Professor Davis said.

Newcastle Herald - What drugs treat COVID-19? The eight approved drugs include dexamethasone, Remdesivir, budesonide and monoclonal antibodies

By Damon Cronshaw
Posted: Sun 12 Sep 2021, 4:21pm

Eight drugs have been proven to reduce COVID-19-related disease severity and mortality in large randomised controlled trials, University of Newcastle Conjoint Professor Josh Davis says.

Twitter - Reflections working on one of the COVID wards in Melbourne

ABC News - Melbourne COVID ward doctor warns of 'big wave' amid increase in young, unvaccinated patients

By Matilda Marozzi
Posted: Mon 13 Sep 2021, 11:58am

Key Points:

  • Hospital staff are working "incredibly hard" to treat COVID patients on the ward and in ICU, Steven Tong says.
  • Referrals to the hospital are "rapidly picking up pace" and Dr Tong expects it to get even busier than last year.
  • Vaccination is the key to slowing down rates of infection and hospitalisation.

ABC Radio Interview - How far have treatments come?

Duration: 2min 53sec
Broadcast: Fri 10 Sep 2021, 7:00am

Until recently there've been limited therapeutic options for those who get COVID, but that is starting to change.

Audrey, COVID survivor
Professor Joshua Davis, chair, National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce
Steven Tong, infectious diseases physician, Royal Melbourne Hospital and Doherty Institute