The use of Chinese herbs along with conventional medical treatment for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) may not be as effective in saving the life of such victims, according to latest reports. It may just serve to alleviate their misery by a very little margin.
The researchers of the present study analyzed 12 different clinical trials involving SARS victims. An approximate of 654 SARS patients, treated with both allopathic and Chinese medicines were included for the study. At the end of the study, no specific Chinese herb or herb combination that improved the survival rate could be identified.
An outbreak of SARS occurred in the southern part of China (Guangdong Province) in the year 2002 and rapidly spread to many different cities around the World. It claimed the lives of nearly 774 individuals and infected more than 8000 people worldwide, according to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO).
A previously unknown form of the virus, called the coronavirus was identified as the causative organism. No known treatment was available to tackle the infection then. Patients with symptoms of pneumonia and fever were treated with antibiotics, corticosteriods and anti-viral drugs (ribavirin). In addition, oxygen was administered to several patients, through a ventilator.
It was then that the practice of using Chinese medicines along with traditional treatment emerged. The researchers have now found that this may not be clinically relevant, as the combination does nothing more than improving the quality of life or providing symptomatic relief. The researches have highlighted the need for more such studies to establish a definitive clinical advantage with the use of Chinese herbs.