Remdesivir approved by FDA as COVID-19 treatment


(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Remdesivir, an antiviral treatment used in COVID-19 cases, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat hospitalized patients. 

President Donald Trump credited the treatment for speeding his recovery after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.

Now that the FDA has given remdesivir emergency authorization, it is now the first treatment approved for COVID-19 patients and, as of Friday, remains the only treatment.

With hospitalization rates rising around the country and health officials warning of a new wave of outbreaks, now attention is what kind of impact the treatment will have on the fatality rate.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert says state hospitals are now “overwhelmed” by patients, saying those working the front line are “emotionally spent” because “the stress they are experiencing is unsustainable.”

Hospitalizations are on the rise in 41 U.S. states, plus Guam.  North Dakota hit a record number of new cases on Thursday — and, overall, the U.S. is documenting a daily average of 60,000 new cases.

Nearly 40,000 Americans remain hospitalized across the country, the highest number in two months.

With Halloween around the corner, health officials are also concerned how trick or treating may impact transmission rates.  Dr. Anthony Fauci says that while he thinks children should be able to dress up and greet their neighbors, exchanging candy does increase risk, so he advises trick or treaters only say hello after knocking on their neighbor’s door and keep their distance.

COVID-19 has infected nearly 8.4 million Americans and killed close to 223,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.