Though NCP is a novel infectious disease, the similar syndrome infected by coronavirus are not unfamiliar. Firstly, the history of TCM applied for plague has lasted for over two thousand years (Table. 1). And abundant theories of TCM for explosive infectious disease have formed, which have survived as treatises up to now. Meanwhile, TCM also play a significant role in the treatment of these coronavirus pneumonias broke out in the last two decades, such as SARS, MERS and H7N9 avian influenza [4-6]. Obviously, TCM has accumulated a solid theoretical foundation of plague and will be an effective treatment for NCP.
No. Data Book Name Related theories of TCM for infectious diseases 1 BC 1046
Zhou Yi The concept of “Yi Bing” was proposed. It thought that “Yi Bing” was different from common cold. “Yi Bing” was the disease which has infectivity and easily leaded to epidemic. 2 AD 219
Shang Han Lun The dialectical relationship and treatment theory of exopathogenic disease (“Shang Han” ) were elaborated. Especially, decades of specific Chinese herbal formulae were specifically treated different phenotypes of Shang Han. 3 AD 341
Zhou Hou Bei Ji Fang Zhou Hou Bei Ji Fang was the first literature of emergency treatment. There were plentiful well proved clinical recipes for emergency including Wen Yi, Shang Han, pestilence and so on. 4 AD 652
Qian Jin Yao Fang In Qian Jin Yao Fang, there were many discussions on the theory and methods of prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. It also described the prescription drugs in detail. 5 AD 1642
Wen Yi Lun Wen Yi Lun was the first medical book about systematic study of acute infectious disease in the world. It described the etiology, pathogenesis, syndrome and treatment of plague. “Da Yuan Yin” was the classical prescription for plague. 6 AD 1794
Yi Zhen Yi De This book dealed with the causes of the plague, the main points of diagnosis and treatment, and the discrimination of common symptoms. The representative prescription “Qin Wen Bai Du Yin” was well recognized.
Table 1. The representative theories of TCM for infectious diseases
NCP is infected by the novel coronavirus, but similar infectious diseases are not unacquainted for doctors of TCM. TCM has accumulated a wealth of experience and a lot of prescriptions, laying a solid theoretical foundation (Table 1). Two thousand years ago (BC 1046), the concept of “Yi Bing” was proposed. It pointed out that “Yi Bing” was different from common cold. “Yi Bing” was the disease which has infectivity and easily leaded to epidemic. Then the dialectical relationship and treatment theory of exopathogenic disease were elaborated in AD 219. At present, plentiful Chinese herbal formulae from these theoretical foundation have been used. Meanwhile, the theories of TCM for infectious diseases had been further accumulated in Tsin Dynasty and Tang Dynasty. Especially, in as early as the 17th century, China had already owned the world's first medical book about systematic study of acute infectious disease. It described the etiology, pathogenesis, syndrome and treatment of plague. Similarly, a lot of representative theories of TCM for infectious diseases had been established. It is profound that TCM can apply the same method of treatment to patients with different kinds of disease but have the same syndrome. Obviously, TCM also can be an effective treatment for NCP based on these solid theoretical foundations.
NCP is the novel coronavirus pneumonias for TCM. But TCM have been successfully treated for other coronavirus pneumonias such as SARS, MERS and H7N9 avian influenza [4-6]. In 2003, SARS broke out in China. According to statistics, there were 5327 patients diagnosed, and 7% of them died. But in Guangdong, PRC, the fatality ratio was only 3.8% while the mortality in Hong Kong, PRC was 17%, the fatality ratio in Taiwan, PRC was 11% and the fatality ratio in Canada was 14% . The fundamental reason lied in the degree of TCM participation and the timing of its treatment. In Guangdong Provincal Hospital of TCM, 105 patients recovered after the treatment of integration of Chinese and western medicine among of 112 cases, not including 7 deaths from severe heart and brain and other basic diseases . In 2013, H7N9 avian influenza also broke out in China. Then NHC of PRC issued the diagnosis and treatment scheme. In Beijing, the first case was also cured additionally by TCM . Similarly, the Chinese Government also issued the diagnosis and treatment scheme of TCM for MERS in 2015 . Thus it can be seen that TCM have long history of treatments for coronavirus pneumonia. It is believed that TCM also can be treated for NCP effectively.
The cure rate of NCP is increasing from 2% in the early days to over 20% in these days. And in partial provinces, the cure rate has exceeded 40% . The application of TCM timely and widely is one of these positive actions in the fight against this outbreak. In view of the excellent performance of TCM at present, increasing number of patients are being treated with TCM additionally. As reported , about 88% patients with NCP have been receiving the treatment integrated with TCM. Firstly, TCM has accumulated a wealth of experience of prevention and treatment of emerging infectious diseases in ancient time and recent decades. Then TCM still will adjust the specific medicine for each patient after diagnosing the syndrome, providing the more effective and personalized treatment. In addition, TCM will reduce adverse reactions of western medicine (such as antiviral, antibacterial drugs and hormones.) via avoiding or decreasing the use of these drugs in clinic. Therefore, TCM has special advantage in the combat with NCP.
However, there are several deficiencies in the development of TCM. As shown in Fig. 1, the national medical team of TCM dispatched to Wuhan timely, but they began to take over the inpatient ward several days later. Because there are no TCM related departments or sufficient Chinese medicine in infectious hospital and western medicine hospital. Obviously, the participation rate of TCM in these hospitals is very low. Secondly, the total number of medical staff of TCM is seriously inadequate in China. Such as this rescue, the medical staff of TCM accounted for less than 20% in the whole dispatched medical staffs from state and province. Moreover, the effect of TCM is not accepted constantly, owing to lack of modern scientific support. Nevertheless, there dozens of TCM for NCP are conducting clinical trials at present, certain specific Chinese medicines are also incorporated (Tabel. 2). As reported [20-22], several Chinese medicines have exhibited favourable effect. In a word, the development of TCM still has long way to go.
No Registration number Scientific title Date of Registration 1 ChiCTR2000029637 An observational study for Xin-Guan-1 formula in the treatment of 2019-nCoV pneumonia (novel coronavirus pneumonia, NCP) 2020-02-08 2 ChiCTR2000029628 Observational study of Xin-Guan-2 formula in the treatment of suspected 2019-nCoV pneumonia (novel coronavirus pneumonia, NCP) 2020-02-07 3 ChiCTR2000029605 A randomized, open-label, blank-controlled, multicenter trial for Shuang-Huang-Lian oral solution in the treatment of 2019-nCoV pneumonia (novel coronavirus pneumonia, NCP) 2020-02-07 4 ChiCTR2000029589 An open, prospective, multicenter clinical study for the efficacy and safety of Reduning injection in the treatment of 2019-nCoV pneumonia (novel coronavirus pneumonia, NCP) 2020-02-05 5 ChiCTR2000029487 Clinical Study for Gu-Biao Jie-Du-Ling in Preventing of 2019-nCoV Pneumonia (Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia, NCP) in Children 2020-02-02 6 ChiCTR2000029434 A randomized, open-label, blank controlled trial for Lian-Hua Qing-Wen Capsule/Granule in the treatment of 2019-nCoV pneumonia (novel coronavirus pneumonia, NCP) 2020-02-01 7 ChiCTR2000029432 A Real World Study For the Efficacy and Safety of Large Dose Tanreqing Injection in the Treatment of Patients with 2019nCoV Pneumonia (Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia, NCP) 2020-02-01
Table 2. The representative clinical trials of TCM for NCP
On all accounts, TCM has accumulated a solid theoretical foundation of plague. In the fight against infectious diseases broke in recent decades, TCM has played an important role in the prevention and treatment. At present, TCM also has been effectively salvaging the patient with NCP. Therefore, TCM is and will be an effective treatment for NCP.
Traditional Chinese Medicine: an effective treatment for 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP)
- Received Date: 2020-02-20
- Available Online: 2020-03-01
Abstract: The novel coronavirus pneumonia broke out in 2019 and spread rapidly. In 30 different countries, there are over seventy thousand patients have been diagnosed in total. Therefore, it is urgent to develop the effective program to prevent and treat for the novel coronavirus pneumonia. In view of Traditional Chinese Medicine has accumulated a solid theoretical foundation of plague in ancient and recent decades. Meanwhile, Traditional Chinese Medicine can provide the more effective and personalized treatment via adjusting the specific medicine for each patient based on the different syndromes. In addition, TCM often has different effect on the distinct stages of diseases, contributing to the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. Nowadays, TCM has exhibited decent effect in the in the fight against NCP. Therefore, it is convinced that Traditional Chinese Medicine is an effective treatment for 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia.