Is a common vaccine becoming another way to lessen COVID-19?

Published: Jul. 21, 2020 at 3:42 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - As more people fill the hospital beds, doctors at AU Health say they've found a common vaccine that could help lessen symptoms of COVID-19.

There's also more promising data on other treatments

AU says their health system is being stretched by this spike in cases and they're having to be creative with treatments and even new research.

Testing sites and the hospital are busy.

"We are at the point of having to look daily at whether or not we have the capacity to do a particular procedure," AU Health chief medical officer Dr. Phillip Coule said.

Coule says the hospital is very full -- so much so that they are trying to send patients with milder symptoms home early.

"We are discharging those patients home with a pulse-oximeter to measure their oxygen saturations," Coule said.

Doctors then follow-up through telemedicine.

Meanwhile, the treatments are showing promise, more patients are taking remdesivir along with convalescent plasma.

But early research shows the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine could also offer protection or lessen symptoms of COVID-19.

"It's too early to make widespread recommendations," Coule said. "We have decided to make it available for our faculty and staff at Augusta University."

With many in the ICU experiencing severe symptoms, AU is researching anything that can help. They're using steroids for patients, too.

"The data is becoming clear that it also reduces mortality when administered early in the course of the illness," Coule said.

Until there's a vaccine, it's trial and error with hopefully more positive than negative results.

If you are interested in the potential benefits of the MMR vaccine, AU Health says you should talk with your primary care provider. They say the risk of any side effects is minimal for most people.

AU Health says they consider the spread in our community high right now. They say everyone needs to consider dialing back our contact with other people and wear your mask.

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