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COVID-19 treatments: Infectious disease specialist in Palm Beach County outlines what's working

'Disease is a storm of inflammatory reaction,' says doctor
Dr. Leslie Diaz
Posted at 2:36 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 16:36:18-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — While there is no cure for the coronavirus, doctors are seeing some encouraging results as they look for the best treatments to combat a disease that has already killed more than 4,000 in the U.S.

During a WPTV Facebook Live on Tuesday, an infectious disease doctor in Palm Beach County said they are learning what is helping patients fight COVID-19.

Dr. Leslie Diaz is an infectious disease specialist in northern Palm Beach County who has seen firsthand what COVID-19 is doing to patients who have tested positive and need hospital care.

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"This disease is a storm of inflammatory reaction in your body that takes off like wildfire, and that's very scary. It takes off so fast that you can't catch up to it," said Diaz.

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“By using an interleukin inhibitor, it reduces that storm and causes you to not progress. What my experience has been, the earlier you use it, the more you're going to get out of it ... I haven't seen anybody get better while they are intubated,” said Diaz.

The interleukin inhibitor is meant to stop the inflammation that also occurs in the lungs, which reduces your chance to breathe. This and a combination of an anti-malaria drug and azithromycin, an antibiotic, are making a difference, according to Diaz.

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“It seems to show some improvement in the patients, but again you have to use it early. I find that this combination does very little for somebody who has already progressed,” said Diaz.

Diaz said there are no studies showing any specific type of immunity booster would help fight COVID-19, but she says it can't hurt to continue taking Vitamin C.