Spanish coronavirus patient recovers after being treated with an HIV drug that stops the deadly viru

By Connor Boyd Health Reporter For Mailonline 12:10 05 Mar 2020, updated 15:51 05 Mar 2020

Miguel Angel Benitez, Spain's first case, said to have made a full recovery today 62-year-old was treated with antiretroviral tablets known as lopinavir-ritonavir Pills, known as protease inhibitors, work by preventing viruses from multiplying Coronavirus becomes deadly when it is allowed to rapidly multiply in the lungs Hopes for a coronavirus cure were raised today following reports that a patient was successfully treated using HIV and multiple sclerosis drugs in Spain. Miguel Angel Benitez - who became the country's first case last month - is said to have made a full recovery at the Virgen del Rocio Hospital in Seville. The 62-year-old was treated with the antiretroviral drug lopinavir-ritonavir, sold under the brand name Kaletra, which has been used to treat HIV patients for a decade. The tablets, known as protease inhibitor drugs, work by preventing the virus from multiplying in the blood. Coronavirus becomes deadly when it is allowed to rapidly multiply in the lungs, kill off cells and cause pneumonia. The highly contagious illness has infected more than 96,000 people and killed 3,300 people around the world, and is currently incurable. Scientists hope to have developed, trialled and distributed a vaccine within 18 months. Miguel Angel Benitez - who became Spain's first coronavirus case last month - was treated with the antiretroviral drug lopinavir-ritonavir, sold under the brand name Kaletra, which has been used on HIV patients for a decade He was discharged from the Virgen del Rocio Hospital (pictured) in Seville, Spain, today Medics also injected Mr Benitez with beta interferons, proteins which stop reduce inflammation and are used to treat MS sufferers. The Spanish hospital has been trialling the experimental treatment for weeks in its battle against COVID-19, which has so far infected 171 people in Spain. Head of infectious diseases at Madrid’s Ramon y Cajal hospital, Santiago Moreno, said the coornaviurs was 'very similar to HIV’. He added: ‘This enzyme is essential for the virus to replicate. The combination of lopinavir and ritonavir inhibits and blocks HIV. The results that we have so far regarding its use against coronaviruses are encouraging.’

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