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Oral Zinc for Treating COVID-19

In a study of ambulatory and hospitalized patients with COVID-19, oral zinc for 15 days decreased the 30-day death rate, lowered the intensive care unit (ICU) admission rate, and shortened the duration of symptoms.

The prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial included 470 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 without end-organ failure. Randomization to oral zinc or placebo produced these results based on a primary combined outcome of death due to COVID-19 or ICU admission within 30 days: “190 patients (40.4%) were ambulatory and 280 patients (59.6%) were hospitalized. Mortality at 30 days was 6.5% in the zinc group and 9.2% in the placebo group (OR: .68; 95% CI .34–1.35); ICU admission rates were, respectively, 5.2% and 11.3% (OR: .43; 95% CI .21–.87). Combined outcome was lower in the zinc group versus the placebo group (OR: .58; 95% CI .33–.99). Consistent results were observed in prespecified subgroups of patients aged <65 years, those with comorbidity, and those who needed oxygen therapy at baseline. Length of hospital stay was shorter in the zinc group versus the placebo group (difference: 3.5 days; 95% CI 2.76–4.23) in the inpatient group; duration of COVID-19 symptoms decreased with zinc treatment versus placebo in outpatients (difference: 1.9 days; 95% CI .62–2.6). No severe adverse events were observed during the study.”

Source: Clinical Infectious Diseases