A drug offers hope amid spikes in coronavirus infections


ATLANTA (AP) – A widely available drug is showing promise of treating the most seriously ill coronavirus patients.

It’s a welcome bit of hope as countries grapple with spikes in contagion as they loosen restrictions and reopen their economies. Researchers say the steroid, called dexamethasone, reduced deaths by 35% in patients who needed breathing machines and by 20% among those using supplemental oxygen.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the drug was the “biggest breakthrough yet” in treating the virus. Top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci called it “a significant improvement in the available therapeutic options that we have.”

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