COVID Treatment Causes Shocking Change in Baby Boy's Features

A six-month-old boy from Thailand experienced an unusual side effect after being given an antiviral drug for Covid: his dark brown eyes turned a striking blue within 18 hours of starting the treatment.

The infant was administered favipiravir, a medication frequently used for conditions like influenza and Ebola. While it's approved for Covid treatment in some parts of Asia, it hasn't received approval in the US.

Bangkok-based doctors who attended to the young boy believe that the antiviral medication released a fluorescent substance that built up in the child's corneas.

Though the boy's eye color changed shortly after the medication was introduced, it reverted to its original shade five days post-treatment cessation.

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In Thailand, favipiravir stands as the primary antiviral prescribed to children battling SARS-CoV-2.

Around 20 percent of adverse reactions to this drug involve side effects such as elevated uric acid levels in the body, diarrhea, and a decrease in white blood cell count.

Favipiravir has secured approval in nations like Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Moldova, and Kazakhstan, and was greenlit for emergency use in Italy in 2020.

In the US, preliminary testing of the drug commenced in April 2020, involving a cohort of 50 participants across institutions like Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is yet to grant approval for favipiravir.

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