COVID-19: An Update on the Epidemiological, Clinical, Preventive and Therapeutic Evidence and Guidelines of Integrative Chinese-Western Medicine for the Management of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease
Chan, Kam Wa
Wong, Vivian Taam
Tang, Sydney Chi Wai
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As of 22 February 2020, more than 77662 cases of confirmed COVID-19 have been documented globally with over 2360 deaths. Common presentations of confirmed cases include fever, fatigue, dry cough, upper airway congestion, sputum production, shortness of breath, myalgia/arthralgia with lymphopenia, prolonged prothrombin time, elevated C-reactive protein, and elevated lactate dehydrogenase. The reported severe/critical case ratio is approximately 7-10% and median time to intensive care admission is 9.5-10.5 days with mortality of around 1-2% varied geographically. Similar to outbreaks of other newly identified virus, there is no proven regimen from conventional medicine and most reports managed the patients with lopinavir/ritonavir, ribavirin, beta-interferon, glucocorticoid and supportive treatment with remdesivir undergoing clinical trial. In China, Chinese medicine is proposed as a treatment option by national and provincial guidelines with substantial utilization. We reviewed the latest national and provincial clinical guidelines, retrospective cohort studies, and case series regarding the treatment of COVID-19 by add-on Chinese medicine. We have also reviewed the clinical evidence generated from SARS and H1N1 management with hypothesized mechanisms and latest in silico findings to identify candidate Chinese medicines for the consideration of possible trials and management. Given the paucity of strongly evidence-based regimens, the available data suggest that Chinese medicine could be considered as an adjunctive therapeutic option in the management of COVID-19.