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The effect of recombinant human interferon alpha nasal drops to prevent COVID-19 pneumonia for medical staff in an epidemic area

Author(s):

Zhongji Meng, Tongyu Wang, Li Chen, Xinhe Chen, Longti Li, Xueqin Qin, Hai Li* and Jie Luo*  

Abstract:


Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) known as Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has caused the sixth world public health emergency. Healthcare staff as frontline population fighting the pandemic are exposed to high risk of infection. Therefore, developing protective intervention for medical staff is of significant importance.

Objective: To explore the effectiveness and safety of recombinant human interferon alpha (rhIFN-α) nasal drops for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) through administering it to medical staff.

Method: This was a prospective open-label clinical trial with parallel intervention assignment conducted on 2944 medical staff including both doctors and nurses from Taihe Hospital, Shiyan City, Hubei Province, China from January 21, 2020 to July 30, 2020. The participants were bifurcated into two groups of low risk and high risk groups according to the level of direct exposure to COVID-19 patients. The individuals of the low-risk group received rhIFN-α nasal drops for one month in addition to first level protection, and the high-risk group received a combination of rhIFN-α nasal drops coupled with thymosin-α1 with either second or third-level protection protocol. Moreover, the new-outset of COVID-19 pneumonia diagnosed by chest computed tomography (CT), after thirty days was the primary outcome. The adverse reactions were recorded in all participants.

Results: Two thousand and four hundred fifteen of 2944 individuals belonged to the low-risk group, while 529 to the high-risk group. There was no COVID-19 pneumonia in either of the group after thirty days. The pulmonary CT scans were negative for COVID-19 pneumonia in both the groups with no new clinical symptoms. No serious adverse event was observed during the course of the intervention.

Conclusion: The rhIFN-α nasal drops along with augmented safeguard based on standard physical isolation could effectively protect medical staff against COVID-19 pneumonia.

Keywords:

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), respiratory syndrome, prophylaxis, Medical staff, thymosin-α1, IFN-α nasal drops

Affiliation:

Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Prevention and Control Team, Taihe Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine. 442000, Shiyan, Hubei, Department of Gastroenterology, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 200127, Shanghai, Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Prevention and Control Team, Taihe Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine. 442000, Shiyan, Hubei, Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Prevention and Control Team, Taihe Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine. 442000, Shiyan, Hubei, Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Prevention and Control Team, Taihe Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine. 442000, Shiyan, Hubei, Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Prevention and Control Team, Taihe Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine. 442000, Shiyan, Hubei, Department of Gastroenterology, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 200127, Shanghai, Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Prevention and Control Team, Taihe Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine. 442000, Shiyan, Hubei



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