MONKEYPOX patients in the NHS will trial the first ever drug to treat the disease.
Oxford University scientists who discovered life-saving Covid medications now plan to stamp out the viral skin infection.
There is currently no cure for monkeypox, which has infected 3,017 people in the UK since May.
Patients simply have to self-isolate and wait for it to heal, which can take weeks.
Infected Brits are now being offered the antiviral drug tecovirimat, which stops the virus from spreading inside the body by blocking it from breaking out of diseased cells.
Researchers hope the twice-daily pills will speed up recovery and reduce painful skin blisters and rashes, keeping patients out of hospital.
Trial leader Professor Sir Peter Horby said: “Monkeypox is a distressing and sometimes dangerous infection.
“For the benefit of current and future patients worldwide, we need definitive evidence that tecovirimat is safe and effective.”
Read more on monkeypox
Monkeypox vaccine doses cut five-fold as health experts stretch low supplies
Window of opportunity to stop monkeypox spread is closing, experts warn
The first patient joined the Platinum trial last Friday and is one of 500 who will be enrolled to compare the medicine to a placebo drug.
Monkeypox cases have been detected in at least 89 countries in this year’s global outbreak, which is the biggest in history.
The virus is spread by skin contact and almost all cases in Britain so far have been among gay and bisexual men.
As well as blisters, rashes and ulcers on the skin, mouth and genitals, symptoms include fever, tiredness and muscle aches.
Most read in Health
I’m an osteopath – here’s how to ease joint pain WITHOUT having to see a doctor
The 5 fat burning mistakes that killing your metabolism and when to eat MORE
Parents urged to take kids for vital test before school restarts amid concerns
Doctors fobbed off my stomach pain as IBS – but the true cause cost me my baby
NHS clinics are rolling out smallpox vaccines to high-risk members of the public, with the jab proven to reduce the risk of disease.
But global vaccine supplies are low and there is still no treatment to speed up recovery for people who have already been infected.
Anyone diagnosed with monkeypox can join the trial and will be sent two weeks’ worth of 600mg tecovirimat pills to take at home while they self-isolate.
If tests are successful, tecovirimat, also known as TPOXX, will be the world’s first proven monkeypox treatment.
Prof Horby and Prof Landray were both knighted last year for running the Recovery trial, which was the largest Covid treatment trial in the world.
They discovered that the cheap and widely available steroid dexamethasone could slash the risk of dying of Covid by a third for hospital patients.
Public health minister Maggie Throup MP said: “This government-funded study is an important step to finding a treatment which can help speed up the recovery of those who have monkeypox.
Read More on The Sun
McDonald’s fans baffled after discovering its tables have a secret function
I’m a vet tech and yes we judge you based on your dog…
“Led by the same experts behind the world-leading Covid-19 Recovery trial, this new monkeypox treatment trial will test the effectiveness of the antiviral tecovirimat in fighting the disease.
“Vaccines remain our best defence against the spread of monkeypox – we urge all those eligible to come forward when contacted, and report any symptoms to NHS 111.”
Source: Read Full Article