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Yale infectious disease doctor weighs in on HIV drug’s promise for COVID-19 and mask safety

Coronavirus

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– The search continues daily in the medical community for drugs that can possibly treat Covid-19 symptoms.

One drug that has shown promise in early trials has proven successful against another deadly virus, HIV. It is called Leronlimab, or Pro 140, and studies have revealed that it can stop the inflammatory reaction that overwhelms the lungs and makes breathing impossible.

“This is an interesting drug, it’s one that I’m very interested to see more of what happens. It seems to block that cytokine storm and it seems to temper it down so that people can get through the viral infection and not have their own body attacking itself,” says Dr. Manisha Juthani, Yale Medicine Infectious Disease Specialist and Associate Professor at Yale School of Medicine.

The drug is undergoing trials at the Montefiore Health System in New York.

News 8 asked Dr. Juthani about wearing masks. Currently there is only data on the effectiveness of medical masks, and not cloth masks. There is only data on the effectiveness of medical masks – and not cloth masks.

Dr. Juthani says, “If you light a candle and you try to blow out that candle with your mask on and you can’t blow it off then I think that’s a surrogate to say that in fact your secretions are not getting very far so your potentially protecting others, so in the same way that mask should be protecting you as well.”

She says if you are not comfortable wearing a mask and keep taking it off or putting it below your nose than it serves no purpose.

Dr. Juthani says if you are truly uncomfortable wearing your mask, try to find some distance for breaks.

“So maybe move away from people, stay further apart and maybe you can take your mask down for a little bit to catch your breath, so you feel like you can breath a little better.”

In the end she feels any mask is better than none at all.

“What I tell people in general is the best kind of mask is the one your going to wear.”

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