and Drug Administration has approved a national trial study of
the first drug to possibly treat West Nile Virus in humans. According
to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the virus, which is spreading
across the United States, has infected 269 persons in a dozen
states and is responsible for 13 deaths so far.
The AP reported
Monday that the agency has cleared the way for James Rahal of
the New York hospital Queens to test whether the interferon can
lessen the symptoms and duration of the illness in infected patients.
Sold by Schering-Plough
as Intron-A, lab tests have shown the drug to be effective in
treating West Nile. The trial will study the effects of the drug
on 40 hospitalized patients, age 50 or order, chosen at random.