The epidemic has devastated global economies, with some writing throughout the decade in terms of any possibility of returning to pre-pandemic employment and consumption habits.
So what is this new ground breaking drug that can save the economy of billions and many people? Well, it is vitamin D.
No were you expecting right? While treatment for those infected with the virus currently runs into the tens of thousands of dollars and may not be very effective, the initial results of two studies are simply surprising. The University of Chicago study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, while another study, conducted in Cordoba, Spain, was published by the National Institutes of Health.
The study at JAMA looked at patients who were already monitored for vitamin D deficiency. People who had vitamin D deficiency were twice as likely to have coronovirus.
This may explain why minorities such as African Americans and Latino, whose deficiency rates are found to be 70% and 80%, respectively, contract the virus at a disproportionately high rate. This means that simply taking vitamin D supplements may be enough to prevent the virus from contracting.
The Spanish study is even more important, as it tracks two groups in a randomized, double-blind trial.
Both groups have tested positive for COVID-19 and have already been hospitalized to receive the “best” care available.
The control group was not given any additional vitamin D supplements, while the test group was given an analog of the vitamin, calcifediol, a hormone produced by taking vitamin D and acting very rapidly.
Those who took calcifediol, or vitamin D analogs, were admitted to intensive care at a rate of 2% of all patients in the group – while those who did not take vitamin D analogs were admitted to intensive care. 50%. Meanwhile, 7% of patients not taking paired vitamin D died, while 0% of those taking it did.
While the number of patients in both studies was slightly lower (489 and 76, respectively), the results are not less than breathtaking.
Addressing vitamin D deficiencies can prevent many people not only from contracting the virus, but for those who already have it, can treat the symptoms faster and with fewer complications.
Obviously, vitamin D is not a vaccine, but if these numbers can be trusted, it is by far the strongest (and cheapest) weapon in the fight against COVID-19.
Clearly, Big Pharma stands to lose billions, a much more expensive treatment if these studies are to be confirmed.
This may be the treatment policy-makers and economists are looking to prevent and treat the spread of virus symptoms.