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Swedish experts use the same medical treatment for patients infected with COVID-19 variants

2021 Feb 08, 7:45, STOCKHOLM
This undated image shows the coronavirus vaccine. Photo Courtesy: Cathay Pacific Cargo

Swedish experts recommend patients infected with mutated COVID-19 variants receive the same medical treatment as those infected with the original strain, news agency TT reported on Sunday.

In the latest update of the national COVID-19 treatment program, the Swedish Society of Infectious Diseases endorses the use of the same medication that is used to treat standard COVID-19.

While mutated strains are believed to be more contagious, they do not seem to lead to worse infections.

"As far as we know, the new variants do not lead to a more serious course of the disease," Lars-Magnus Andersson, chairman of the Swedish Society of Infectious Diseases, told TT.

The news agency reported that while the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a recommendation against the use of remdesivir in hospitalized patients, the updated Swedish treatment program said it may be used during the early phase of the disease on hospitalized patients in need of oxygen treatment.

Whilst no cure-all yet exists for those who develop serious symptoms, three vaccines against COVID-19 have so far been approved by the European Medicines Agency -- Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca.

It is however unclear whether they are effective against new strains of the virus. Recent trials of AstraZeneca's vaccine showed significantly reduced efficacy against the mutation first discovered in South Africa, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

Meanwhile, 238 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 63 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain, and the United States, according to information released by WHO on February 2. 


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