Because this coronavirus is new, there are no proven drugs, therapies or vaccines for COVID-19.
Right now, the main focus of treatment is to control the infection, and manage symptoms and complications. That means using medication to lower fevers, oxygen therapy, ventilator support and other measures.
The good news is that there are already hundreds of clinical trials underway to test different treatments and to develop a vaccine. For example, studies are now underway to look at whether antibodies from someone who has had the virus and is fully recovered (convalescent serum), can be given to someone infected with it to help them fight the disease. This treatment was used during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.
Researchers and doctors are also testing drugs that are currently used to treat other diseases to see if they are safe and work to treat or lessen COVID-19.
Cardiologists are involved in these trials as well to make sure that treatments for COVID-19 do not interfere with the medications that people with heart conditions commonly take. They also want to be sure that these treatments don’t harm the heart (for example, to be sure they don’t trigger dangerous heartbeats).
Antibody tests are also being rolled out to allow doctors to take a sample of blood to see if someone has been infected and, therefore, is likely protected against the virus (at least for a time).
Last updated: May 6, 2020