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Fort Pierce doctor says remdesivir helped save 19-year-old coronavirus patient

Improvement shown 5 days after taking drug
Posted at 7:17 PM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 19:17:25-04

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A Treasure Coast doctor said the drug remdesivir helped save the life of a 19-year-old man who was battling the coronavirus.

Last month, 19-year-old Jose Zacapa recovered after a dangerous bout with the virus.

While hospitalized at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce, Zacapa took part in a clinical study involving remdesivir.

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Early research has shown the drug helps shorten the recovery time of some COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Nicholas Punch said if Jose Zacapa did not take remdesivir, he would have died.
Dr. Nicholas Punch said if Jose Zacapa did not take remdesivir, he would have died.

According to one doctor, that's exactly what happened in Zacapa’s case.

"After approximately five days, we started to see great improvement in his pulmonary function. Unfortunately, I believe, if Jose did not receive remdesivir, he would have died," said Dr. Nicholas Punch.

Zacapa spent nearly three weeks in the intensive care unit after suffering complications from COVID-19. At one point, he was placed on a ventilator.

Experts caution that remdesivir is not a cure for COVID-19, and that more research still needs to be done on the anti-viral drug.