I’ll start by reminding everyone that I’m not a doctor and have no professional experience in the field of medicine. With that out of the way, I’ll confess that I’ve always been under the impression that diseases caused by a virus can’t be “cured” the way we are able to treat bacterial infections. The most you can generally do is develop a vaccine and try to prevent people from getting sick in the first place.

But maybe that isn’t always true. Doctors in Japan have reportedly used a drug developed to treat the flu to eliminate the coronavirus in patients within four days. If this is true, it’s huge. And somebody needs to get that drug into mass production immediately. (The Guardian)

Medical authorities in China have said a drug used in Japan to treat new strains of influenza appeared to be effective in coronavirus patients, Japanese media said on Wednesday.

Zhang Xinmin, an official at China’s science and technology ministry, said favipiravir, developed by a subsidiary of Fujifilm, had produced encouraging outcomes in clinical trials in Wuhan and Shenzhen involving 340 patients.

“It has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment,” Zhang told reporters on Tuesday.

Patients who tested positive for the coronavirus tested negative after a median time of four days following administration of the drug. And considering that we’re supposedly still 12 to 18 months away from an effective vaccine being generally available, we’re probably going to have a lot of sick people to deal with.

And even if the Japanese don’t have a foolproof cure, there’s this. Fox News reported that a peer-reviewed study showed that a medicine developed to treat malaria wiped out the coronavirus in 100% of patients treated. It’s only the second time that medicine has successfully treated a virus.

If that’s not enough good news for you on a Thursday morning, there’s something new cooking at Oxford University Medical Center. They claim to have a test kit that people can use at home and it delivers results in only 30 minutes. (Telegraph)

A rapid test for coronavirus which could give a result in just 30 minutes for people at home, has been developed by Oxford University.

The super sensitive test, which can picks up the virus in its very early stages when it might otherwise have been missed, could be rolled out to testing centres within a fortnight and could soon be available for home use.

Previous viral RNA tests took 1.5 to 2 hours to give a result slowing down the ability to respond quickly to the crisis.

They coordinated with a medical center in China to run the test on samples from patients participating in the study. The new test kits reportedly delivered 100% accurate results for people who tested both positive and negative. That’s also huge because false positive and negative results are a daunting concern when dealing a pandemic of this magnitude.

I’m not trying to peddle bottled sunshine here or blow smoke of everyone’s skirts, but we could really use some good news on the coronavirus front. And if labs are finding actual cures for this disease and effective test kits are ready to be rolled out globally, we just might wind up slaying this dragon after all.