Steroid harms if given early in COVID-19 viraemia.

Affiliation

Arora K(1), Panda PK(2).
Author information:
(1)Internal Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences - Rishikesh, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India.
(2)Internal Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences - Rishikesh, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India [Email]

Abstract

COVID-19 is a biphasic illness with an initial viraemia phase and later effective adaptive immune phase, except in a minority of people who develop severe disease. Immune regulation is the key target to treat COVID illness. In anticipation, an elderly man self-medicated himself with dexamethasone on the day of symptom onset of a flu-like illness, took other symptomatic measures and was tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. His condition deteriorated with each passing day resulting in hospitalisation. He demanded oxygen and declared as severe COVID. With supportive treatment, he recovered after the 20th day of illness. Immunosuppression and anti-inflammation are likely to benefit when the immune response is dysregulated and turning into a cytokine storm. A medication that has saved many could be the one predisposing to severity if taken as a preventive measure, too early in the disease course, especially the viraemia phase.