FDA gives the nod to West Nile Virus trial drug

| Thursday, August 22, 2002

The Food 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.

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