Article Abstract

Potential application of electronic healthcare records to the effectiveness study of the treatment of emerging virus diseases

Authors: Zhongheng Zhang


In a long review article entitled “Treating the host response to emerging virus diseases: lessons learned from sepsis, pneumonia, influenza and Ebola”, Fedson provided insightful thoughts on the development of effective treatment drugs for emerging virus diseases (1). Since the development of novel drugs targeting each of the emerging viruses are costly, the target to the host response which is a common final pathway for the pathogenesis of virus diseases, would be a promising target. The author enumerated some successful drugs such as the statins and angiotensin receptor blockers. No matter what the upstream causes it is, the host responses to virus infection share the same mechanisms such as endothelial dysfunction, over-activation of the immune system. However, these potentially attractive drugs have not been proven to be effective in reducing mortality outcomes. In patients with acute respiratory distress (ARDS) and/or sepsis, none of the randomized controlled trials have reported the efficacy of statin in reducing mortality (2-4), though the statin was found to be safe in these patient populations. The futility of these trials may be attributable to the low dose and late initiation. In a study, the statin was initiated for a mean of eight days after mechanical ventilation (3).