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Urgent need for early COVID-19 treatments

COVID-19 treatments for people with early infection are needed urgently, according to Anthony S Fauci, Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Treating people early in the course of infection with SARS-CoV-2 would speed their recovery, reduce the likelihood that they develop severe outcomes and reduce demand on the healthcare system, Fauci and colleagues wrote in JAMA.

Despite experiencing only mild symptoms early in infection, many COVID-19 patients progress to severe disease that leads to hospitalisation. Some also will experience lengthy recoveries and develop long-lasting fatigue, mental impairment and problems with heart and lung function.

While several treatments, such as remdesivir and dexamethasone, are available, or are in development, that can be administered early during the course of infection to prevent disease progression and longer-term complications, more are urgently needed, they write. 

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