Remdesivir Makes It Harder For Coronavirus To Spread Within The Body : NPR

Dr. Sean Dooley briefs reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. on Saturday. Trump was admitted to the hospital after contracting the coronavirus.

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Dr. Sean Dooley briefs reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. on Saturday. Trump was admitted to the hospital after contracting the coronavirus.

Susan Walsh/AP

President Trump, hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland, is being treated with remdesivir, an antiviral drug made by Gilead Sciences. While the drug hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, it was authorized for emergency use in May for treating hospitalized patients with the coronavirus.

Trump received his first IV infusion of remdesivir on Friday night, and doctors say he’ll undergo a five-day treatment course of the drug.

How does remdesivir work? By making it harder for the virus to replicate. Typically, when SARS-CoV-2 invades a cell, it releases a strand of RNA containing its genome — essentially, a genetic blueprint for replicating itself.

In order for the virus to make copies, its RNA needs to latch onto a cell’s ribosome. That’s a tiny cellular machine that lives in human cells and helps replicate proteins. A single cell can contain million of ribosomes, which, when things are working normally, help create the normal cells of the human body. But the coronavirus hijacks the ribosome, directing it to make copies of itself — and then copies of those copies.

As anyone who has used a Xerox machine knows, when you make copies of a copy, the new copies can get harder to read. A similar phenomenon takes place within the cell, and so normally, new copies of a virus can contain mutations.

One reason coronaviruses are so good at proliferating throughout the body is because they carry a special “proofreading” protein that catches the errors, helping the virus replicate itself correctly. Each compromised cell can create thousands of copies of the virus, which then infect nearby cells, where replication begins again.

That’s where remdesivir comes in. It helps control the coronavirus by disrupting its proofreading process. To the coronavirus, remdesivir looks like a natural part of the human cell. But when remdesivir gets stitched into the new replicated virus, it gums up the works.

“Now the virus is making a lot of rotten genomes that poison the viral replication process,” geneticist Judith Frydman explained this summer to Stanford Medicine.

Remdesivir isn’t a perfect copy-blocking machine, but it works well enough to slow the release of the virus and help give the body’s immune system a better chance at fighting the invaders. For those who need hospitalization, a 5- to 10-day course of remdesivir has been shown to improve results and reduce hospital stays by a few days.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that patients receiving remdesivir recovered in 11 days, compared with 15 days for those who received a placebo. However, that study found the

How Shawn Johnson and Andrew East Reinforce Positive Body Image for Their 10-Month-Old Daughter

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Shawn Johnson and Andrew East are already committed to making sure their 10-month-old daughter, Drew Hazel, has a positive view of herself.

The couple recently opened up to PEOPLE about the small, and adorable, ways in which they reinforce a positive body image for Drew. The effort is especially important for Johnson, 28, who recently told fans about her struggles with eating disorders after competing in the 2008 Olympics as a gymnast.

For East, welcoming his daughter last November helped open his eyes to the burden of a negative body image.

“Now that I have a daughter, I feel like I have a different perspective on it, whereas before, I don’t think I really understood the body image issues as a male as much,” he tells PEOPLE.

“But now it’s something that I’m consciously trying to build in Drew as a positive self-image, because I know that our home is probably the best chance she has at getting positive reinforcement like that.”

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RELATED: Shawn Johnson & Andrew East: How Early Miscarriage Encouraged Them to Be Open About Their Parenting Journey

The NFL player, 29, went on to share that they have “a couple of fun traditions” they do as a family before Drew’s bath time. Often, they’ll stand in front of the mirror so Drew can see herself.

“I’ll say, ‘Oh, wow, look at the perfect baby,’ ” East adds of their bath time routine. “Just trying to do little things like that where she sees herself and relates it with positive things.”

Johnson says that as Drew gets older, they’ll continue to have conversations about body image. The athlete shared her own story, she says, “to tell more and more people that we’re not all perfect.”

“I wish as a kid, I had someone who had gone through that and had coached me through it and shared their journey so I didn’t feel alone,” Johnson says.

RELATED: Shawn Johnson ‘Was Really Scared’ Her Eating Disorder Would Return During Her Pregnancy

The couple have recently partnered with battery brand Duracell to get the word out about their lithium coin batteries, which have a bitter coating on them to discourage babies and small children from accidentally ingesting them.

“We’re new parents, and we have no idea what we’re doing, and we can research and prep and prepare and baby-proof all we want, but we’re still learning new things every single day,” Johnson says of the potential safety hazard. “It was just shocking to see that there was so much more we had to learn and to do to protect our baby.”

“There’s nothing that a baby won’t find that has potential to hurt them,” East adds. “And we’re in the phase now where Drew’s running around and we’re putting up the baby gates