Priscilla Medina poses for a portrait in her home in Queens in New York on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. After being exposed and suffering severe symptoms from COVID-19, If Medina had gotten COVID-19 a year earlier, she would have had no treatments proven safe and effective to try. But when the 30-year-old nurse arrived at a Long Island hospital in March 2021, so short of breath she could barely talk, doctors knew just what to do. They quickly arranged for her to get a novel drug that supplies virus-blocking antibodies, and “by the next day I was able to get up and move around,” she said. After two days, “I really started turning the corner. I was showering, eating, playing with my son.” (AP Photo/Marshall Ritzel)
(AP)–One year ago, no treatments had proved safe and effective for COVID-19, but that’s not the case today. Drugs that supply virus-blocking antibodies are keeping newly infected people out of the hospital. Other medicines are helping the sickest patients survive.
Vaccines are starting to curb the pandemic. But with around 60,000 new cases each day in the United States and more worldwide, doctors say more and better treatments are needed. At the top of their wish list is a pill or other easy-to-use treatment that can keep people with early symptoms from becoming seriously ill.