By Chris Rudisill
October 2, 2020
The novel coronavirus has changed nearly every aspect of our lives. As of Sept. 23, there were over 31 million global cases and nearly 7 million in the United States. During the week of Sept. 20, we also saw the number of deaths in the United States surpass the grim benchmark of 200,000.
It has been eight months since the first reported case of a Washington traveler. The U.S. leads the world in coronavirus deaths and has the most reported cases.
Research for potential vaccines, treatments and improved testing have rapidly increased. Gilead Sciences ramped up production of its remdesivir treatment months ago, and now Rosedale Health and Wellness in Huntersville, N.C. is part of a new outpatient study.
According to an open letter from Gilead Chief Executive Officer Daniel O’Day, it is the first antiviral to have demonstrated patient improvement in clinical trials for COVID-19. Based in California, the pharmaceutical company has been at the center of HIV antiretrovirals and well-known HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) medications Truvada and Descovy.
Currently, there are no antiviral medicines to treat COVID-19 and no licensed vaccines to prevent infection.
Like other treatments currently being tested, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to remdesivir for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. The drug is currently listed in 59 separate studies around the globe with 30 currently recruiting. Only nine of those are active in North Carolina.