The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued its 13th update to Covid-19 therapeutics guidelines, specifically revising recommendations for patients with non-severe Covid-19. This update takes into account the evolving landscape of Covid-19, including new virus variants and increased immunity due to vaccination, the WHO stated.
The guidance introduces updated risk rates for hospital admission in patients with non-severe Covid-19. “The current Covid-19 virus variants tend to cause less severe disease while immunity levels are higher due to vaccination, leading to lower risks of severe illness and death for most patients,” the WHO stated.
The ‘moderate risk’ category now encompasses individuals previously considered high risk, such as older people and those with chronic conditions or disabilities. The updated risk estimates help healthcare professionals categorise individuals into high, moderate, or low risk for hospital admission.
The risk breakdown includes:
- High Risk (6% hospitalisation rate): Immunocompromised individuals.
- Moderate Risk (3% hospitalisation rate): People over 65, those with obesity, diabetes, chronic conditions, disabilities, or comorbidities of chronic diseases.
- Low Risk (0.5% hospitalisation rate): Individuals not falling into the high or moderate-risk categories.
Coronavirus Update: WHO’s Medicinal Recommendations For Non-Severe Cases
Regarding Covid-19 treatments for non-severe cases, WHO strongly recommends nirmatrelvir-ritonavir (‘Paxlovid’) for those at high and moderate risk of hospitalisation. This recommendation considers its therapeutic benefits, ease of administration, and fewer concerns about potential harms. If unavailable, molnupiravir or remdesivir are suggested alternatives for high-risk patients.
However, the WHO advises against using molnupiravir and remdesivir for patients at moderate risk, deeming potential harms outweighing limited benefits. For those at low risk of hospitalisation, antiviral therapy is not recommended. Symptoms can be managed with analgesics like paracetamol. The use of a new antiviral (VV116) is also discouraged, except in clinical trials.
Additionally, WHO strongly discourages the use of ivermectin for patients with non-severe Covid-19. “WHO continues to advise that in patients with severe or critical Covid-19, ivermectin should only be used in clinical trials,” the guidelines state.
healthThis comprehensive update aims to guide healthcare professionals in tailoring treatments based on individual risk levels and evolving medical understanding.
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