Treating severe COVID-19 patients and controlling the spread of SARS-CoV-2 are concurrently important in mitigating the pandemic. Classically, antiviral drugs are primarily developed for treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients with severe diseases to reduce morbidity and/or mortality, which have limited effects on limiting pandemic spread. In this study, we simulated the expanded applications of oral antiviral drugs such as molnupiravir to mitigate the pandemic by treating nonhospitalized COVID-19 cases. We developed a compartmental mathematical model to simulate the effects of molnupiravir treatment assuming various scenarios in the Omicron variant dominated settings in Denmark, the United Kingdom and Germany. We found that treating nonhospitalized cases can limit Omicron spread. This indirectly reduces the burden of hospitalization and patient death. The effectiveness of this approach depends on the intrinsic nature of the antiviral drug and the strategies of implementation. Hypothetically, if resuming pre-pandemic social contact pattern, extensive application of molnupiravir treatment would dramatically (but not completely) mitigate the COVID-19 burden, and thus there remains lifetime cost of living with the virus.

Fuente: Scientific Reports
Published: 04 April 2023