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New methods to treat coronavirus patients | Wear the Gown

With more knowledge about the virus comes new techniques to treat it.

SAN ANTONIO — We've learned a lot about the coronavirus since it hit the U.S. earlier this year. Even though University Hospital says they haven't seen an uptick in hospitalizations they have seen hints of a possible surge, which is why continued learning about the disease is so important. 

"We still don't have easy to give outpatient therapies but we know more about the disease," said Dr. Thomas Patterson, the lead COVID-19 Infectious Disease Clinician at University Hospital, and Chief of Infectious Diseases at UT Health San Antonio. 

He says more knowledge about the disease has allowed more patients to stay at home.  

"Increasingly patients can get diagnosed and stay at home but then we are seeing patients who have more aggressive symptoms who need to get admitted to hospitals," Dr. Patterson added.

Studies of Remdesivir here in San Antonio have also improved the effectiveness of the drug. "It showed that the drug produced quicker recovery times and even though it wasn't powerful on mortality the mortality was about 30% less," Dr. Patterson said.

They've even found ways to help patients breathe easier while in the hospital with simple techniques. 

"We have learned about some other injunctive measures that seem to improve outcomes so proning or turning on your side or your front helps in some patients produce better outcomes," Dr. Patterson told us.

This multi-pronged approach has also decreased mortality rates. 

"The mortality rates here in the US are substantially less than we've seen in other parts of the world," Dr. Patterson said.

Even though it appears that the overall mortality rate from coronavirus is going down across the world, because we don't have a vaccine we still need to wash our hands, wear a mask, and socially distance. 

For more information about family health call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of Wear The Gown stories here.