Early research shows that an experimental treatment for the coronavirus may help very sick patients improve their breathing, though experts caution that more studies are needed before the drug, remdesivir, can be recommended.The research, published Friday in The New England Journal of Medicine, looked at 53 coronavirus patients who had been given remdesivir through what’s called “compassionate use.”Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreakIn a majority of the patients — 68 percent — doctors were able to reduce the amount of oxygen support needed. What’s more, 17 of 30 patients who’d been on ventilators were able to come off of those machines. That’s important because COVID-19 patients who need to be put on ventilators appear to be more likely to suffer long-term health consequences, and may have worse outcomes.”If you go on a ventilator there is roughly only a 20 percent chance that you will come off the ventilator,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last week. “The longer you are on the ventilator, the lower the chance that you come off.”The new research had several important caveats. It was a small study, and its authors did not compare their patients’ outcomes with a control group to know for sure whether

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