Can traditional Chinese medicine provide clues to treating and preventing coronavirus? 

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Feb 03, 2020, 11.34 PM(IST) Edited By: Sparshita Saxena

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

China's state-run news agency Xinhua on Friday reported that the cure of the deadly infection could come from a Chinese herbal concoction - the Shuanghuanglian oral liquid. 

The deadly coronavirus outbreak is dominating news headlines across the globe. With over 350 people lost to the infection in China and thousands infected across the world, health experts and researchers are struggling to find a cure. 

China's state-run news agency Xinhua on Friday reported that the cure of the deadly infection could come from a Chinese herbal concoction - the Shuanghuanglian oral liquid. 

According to Xinhua, the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica and the Wuhan Institute of Virology had found that that the liquid could be a possible way to prevent the virus. 

The oral liquid is believed to be a herbal concoction commonly used to relieve regular flu, cold and cough. 

Also read: Chinese authorities ignored early reports of 'mysterious' coronavirus by doctor

Last week, China's National Health Commission issued a notice on the treatment of the coronavirus asking authorities to promote the use of traditional Chinese medicine for treatment.

However, the veracity of reports claiming Shuanghuanglian's magical properties in inhibiting coronavirus was met with much scepticism by many on social media in China.

Meanwhile, experts in Hong Kong say that they may be close to creating a vaccine to counter the virus but it will take around a year before it could hit the markets. 

Also read: Coronavirus a state disaster - Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijyan

The World Health Organization (WHO) says there is is no specific medicine or vaccine to prevent or treat the novel coronavirus.

Thai doctors, at best, have managed to see some success in treating severe cases of the new coronavirus with a combination of flu and HIV medications.

According to reports, the initial results showed vast improvement 48 hours after administering the treatment.

The drug treatment includes a mixture of anti-HIV drugs lopinavir and ritonavir, in combination with flu drug oseltamivir in large doses.

Also read: Battling shortage, China 'urgently needs' masks and medical equipment to tackle Coronavirus

"This is not the cure, but the patient's condition has vastly improved. From testing positive for 10 days under our care, after applying this combination of medicine the test result became negative within 48 hours," a Thai lung specialist told reporters as reported by news agency Reuters.

Chinese health officials have already been administering HIV and flu drugs to fight the coronavirus. The use of the three together in a cocktail seemed to improve the treatment, the Thai doctors said.