LIVE NOW /
Watch News 13 This Morning
Newsfeed Now

‘Watershed moment:” Chicagoans among first to test promising treatment for COVID-19

News

Newsfeed Now Videos

Newsfeed Now for May 26, 2020

Thumbnail for the video titled "Newsfeed Now for May 26, 2020"

Businesses welcome customers back in Nashville during Phase 2

Thumbnail for the video titled "Businesses welcome customers back in Nashville during Phase 2"

Virtual Axe Throwing

Thumbnail for the video titled "Virtual Axe Throwing"

Oprah donates $2 million dollars

Thumbnail for the video titled "Oprah donates $2 million dollars"

Oprah donates $2 million for virus response

Thumbnail for the video titled "Oprah donates $2 million for virus response"

Newsfeed Now for May 20, 2020

Thumbnail for the video titled "Newsfeed Now for May 20, 2020"
More Newsfeed Now

CHICAGO — A drug doctors have mentioned repeatedly as a possible therapy for COVID-19 holds out hope for reducing severity and duration of symptoms. 

And now Chicagoans will be first in line to test it.

Inside the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, an IV drip and a drug are a step toward a treatment for COVID-19.

Northwestern Medicine Infectious Disease Physician Dr Babafemi Taiwo called it “a watershed moment.”

It is one patients and their families around the world have been hoping for since the start of the global pandemic.

In Chicago, an 89-year-old patient led the way toward a possible new treatment when, earlier this week, he was among the first to take part in a clinical trial to test Remdesivir, an anti-viral medication that was initially developed for Ebola patients. It is known to be active against other forms of coronavirus including SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

“It is a really special drug from that perspective and hopefully one that will live up to his promise,” Taiwo said.

The drug trial was given the greenlight by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Patients will receive an infusion of Remdesivir or placebo in the randomized, double blind study.

“Each participant has a 50/50 chance of getting the active drug or placebo,” Taiwo said. “And that continues every day for up to 10 days.”

Northwestern has already enrolled eight patients. For many, it was family members who agreed on behalf of their loved ones too critically ill and on ventilators.

“All the families of the volunteers, and the volunteers themselves, are the true heroes of this effort,” Taiwo said. “Because they are volunteering for something without any promise of direct benefit.”

Researchers believe Remdesivir stops the virus from reproducing in the body, lessening the severity of illness.

“The first question being asked is, is this drug safe? The next question is it effective?” Taiwo said. “Our hope is this trial will address both and give us answers we desperately need for our patient.”

There were side effects noted in Ebola patients who were given Remdesivir including compromised liver function and gastrointestinal problems like nausea and vomiting. All issues were resolved and returned to normal over time.

Worldwide, researchers are hoping to enroll 440 patients.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Local News Video

PCB Mayor talks safety efforts after fight

Thumbnail for the video titled "PCB Mayor talks safety efforts after fight"

City of Lynn Haven approves draft of audit

Thumbnail for the video titled "City of Lynn Haven approves draft of audit"

Local nurse practitioner goes to New York to help during coronavirus pandemic

Thumbnail for the video titled "Local nurse practitioner goes to New York to help during coronavirus pandemic"

Bay County is removing derelict vessels in local waters

Thumbnail for the video titled "Bay County is removing derelict vessels in local waters"

BDS board room named after long-time member, Ginger Littleton

Thumbnail for the video titled "BDS board room named after long-time member, Ginger Littleton"

Bay District Schools offers virtual or in-person schooling for 2020-2021 school year

Thumbnail for the video titled "Bay District Schools offers virtual or in-person schooling for 2020-2021 school year"
More Local News

Aaron Nolan is a morning show co-host in Little Rock, Arkansas with Nexstar Media Group's KARK-TV. He has a passion for social media and makes it an important part of his daily routine. Click here to read Aaron's full bio.

Trending Stories