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New coronavirus treatable with a mix of antiviral drugs, immune boosters: health experts

When a new disease emerges, scientists and physicians hope something that’s already in the medicine cabinet can be used to treat it.

A new study suggests for the novel coronavirus, that may be the case.

Scientists from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases are reporting that a combination of two existing drugs may be useful in treating the new virus, which has emerged from countries in the Middle East.

The cocktail is made up of a generic antiviral drug called ribavirin and interferon alpha 2b, a synthetic version of a protein made by the human immune system.

The work is preliminary; the drug cocktail was tested in two types of monkey kidney cells, not in live animals or people.

But virologist Vincent Munster, one of the authors, says testing in macaque monkeys is already underway and a scientific paper spelling out the results should follow this one shortly.

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