TCM useful in treating patients with new coronavirus pneumonia

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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), combined with Western medicine, can play an active role in treating patients with pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), a leading expert said Monday.

"TCM is helpful in alleviating fever, containing the progression of the disease, lowering the dosage of corticosteroids and reducing complications," said Zhang Boli, one of the 14 members of the national research team to prevent and control the outbreak.

The current treatment for infected patients includes life support and symptom alleviation, which makes the combination of TCM and Western medicine especially important, according to Zhang.

TCM aims to enhance the ability of the human body to fight the virus, he said, adding that its efficacy has been proven as two patients in Beijing and several others in Wuhan recovered after such treatment in combination with Western medicine.

He suggested medicinal herbs can be prescribed based on symptoms to treat patients who are not in critical condition.

On Jan. 24, a national research team of 14 experts, headed by renowned respiratory scientist Zhong Nanshan, was set up to help prevent and control the outbreak.

Experts are screening Chinese patent medicine and active components of medicinal herbs for clinical use, said Zhang. 

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