The lesson of supplementary treatment with Chinese medicine on severe laboratory-confirmed SARS patients.
Am J Chin Med. 2006 ;34(6):927-35. PMID: 17163582
Chinese medicine (CM) has been used to control infectious diseases for thousands of years. In 2003 outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) occurred in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. In view of the possible beneficial effect of CM on SARS, we conducted this study to examine whether CM is of any benefit as a supplementary treatment of SARS. Four severe laboratory-confirmed SARS patients received routine western-medicine treatment plus different supplementary treatment: CM A, CM B and CM C (placebo control). We reported the course of the cases in terms of changes in chest radiographic scores. Case 1 treated as a placebo control passed away on the 9th day after onset of disease. The other three cases treated with CM A or CM B survived. The initial findings seemed to indicate a favorable effect of CM on management of SARS. The findings need to be verified with a larger sample. Using CM as a supplementary treatment of severe SARS seems to indicate that natural herbal medicine can be used against avian influenza. Hence, such related experience or clinical trials should be taken into consideration when facing the possible outbreak of avian influenza in the future.