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TCM can be used safely to fight epidemic with lab evidence:



Some traditional Chinese medicines have long been used clinically and once evidence is available in the lab that they stop the novel coronavirus from entering cells or reducing the cytokine storm, they can be used safely in treating coronavirus infected patients, a prominent expert on respiratory diseases said.
 
Zhong Nanshan, who also is one of the leading specialists tackling the outbreak, made the remarks at a press conference in Guangzhou on Tuesday.
 
"I value very much the information of TCMs in the lab, whether they can kill the virus, prevent the virus from entering cells or help reduce the cytokine storm (the body's overreaction to foreign microorganisms). Once evidence is available, TCMs can be used safely, especially on those in the early and middle stages (of the disease)," Zhong said.
 
Many western medicines are effective in the lab but ineffective after entering a patient's body, he said.
 
Researchers in Guangdong province have selected 54 TCMs, which have been available in the market, for lab research, said Yang Zifeng, professor of Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Health.
 
Five of them exhibit significant effect in curbing cell lesion caused by novel coronavirus, two of them help reduce the virus in infected cells, and three of them help reduce over expression of Inflammatory cytokines.
 
Clinically, some TCMs help alleviate fever, coughing and short breath of novel coronavirus-infected patients.
 
The condition of deceased patients' bodies is very important, Zhong said. Compared with patients who had Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Symptoms (SARS) 17 years ago, COVID-19 patients do not exhibit fast fibrosis of the lungs. They have serious inflammation, a lot of thick mucus and blocked airways.
 
Post-mortem examination should help researchers understand the features of the disease and adjust treatment accordingly, like making greater efforts in clearing the airway, he said.
 
On the prevention of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Zhong said cleared drainage at home and in hospitals is extremely important.
 
In the SARS outbreak 17 years ago, dried excrement and waste related to infected people were believed to have been spread through the drainage system and infected other people through respiratory passages.
 
From Chinadaily.com.cn 
 

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