Charles Horton, M.D.

Charles Horton is a graduate of the WJI mid-career course and is WORLD’s medical correspondent

John Minchillo/AP

Breathing easier in the ICU

Coronavirus | Are we overusing ventilators in the fight against COVID-19?
by Charles Horton, M.D.
Posted 5/26/20, 04:34 pm

Reports of coronavirus victims often include pictures of intensive care units filled with intubated patients—that is, patients with breathing tubes connected to ventilators. Long used to help patients who are under anesthesia or whose breathing has failed, ventilators mechanically push air into the lungs under pressure. Like any powerful tool, they should be used wisely—and reports are starting to suggest that, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, wise use of ventilators may mean less use of them.

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Helin Loik-Tomson/iStock

Could vitamin D reduce severe COVID-19?

Health | New research suggests patients with vitamin D deficiency fare worse
by Charles Horton, M.D.
Posted 5/14/20, 11:45 am

In early March I discussed past research showing a link between vitamin D deficiency and increased susceptibility to seasonal respiratory illnesses. While that research, published in 2017, did not address the new coronavirus, the insights about immunity likely apply to a wide range of viral illnesses, possibly including COVID-19.

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AP Photo/John Locher

A spoonful of coronavirus medicine

Medicine | Will hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir help or hurt COVID-19 patients? Here’s a look at the evidence.
by Charles Horton, M.D.
Posted 5/09/20, 10:15 am

Several readers have wondered about proposed treatments for the coronavirus. One asked this question: How did the experimental drug remdesivir suddenly supplant hydroxychloroquine as the most likely candidate to help COVID-19 patients? If remdesivir helps and hydroxychloroquine doesn’t, why haven’t all the studies shown that?

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