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The success of a treatment for gout in the face of infection with corona viruses and influenza.. a study reveals

With the number of cases of coronavirus continuing to rise worldwide, few options are available to treat those infected with the virus. However, new research results from the American University of Georgia have suggested a viable treatment to combat the disease, and the study, published in Nature's Scientific Reports, found that treating gout has beneficial properties. It is a broad-spectrum antiviral, making it a prime candidate for fighting not only corona infection but also other common and deadly respiratory viruses such as influenza. It is an FDA approved drug used primarily to treat gout.

"There's really nothing out there to safely fight these viruses, but this antiviral works with all the respiratory viruses we've tested, including coronavirus and influenza all circulating in the same season and infection and illness can be reduced with this oral medication," said Ralph Tripp, lead author of the study. "

Viruses work by coaxing a person's cells to reproduce and produce more virus. Treating gout prevents this reproduction process and prevents the virus from infecting an individual's cells. Experiments have shown that the drug works as a preventative before exposure to the virus and as a post-exposure treatment in animal models against coronaviruses and influenza.

Although the drug will primarily be used after a person tests positive for the virus, the protective results mean that people with known exposure can also take the drug to prevent disease. Current treatments cannot be given to critically ill COVID-19 patients.

Gout medication is already used to increase the effectiveness of some antibiotics, so it is possible that the drug could work in tandem with other corona treatments.