A large-scale trial of a new treatment it is hoped will help stop COVID-19 patients from developing severe illness has begun in the UK.
The first patient received the treatment at Hull Royal Infirmary on Tuesday afternoon. It involves inhaling a protein called interferon beta which the body produces when it gets a viral infection.
The hope is it will stimulate the immune system, priming cells to be ready to fight off viruses.
Early findings suggested the treatment cut the odds of a COVID-19 patient in hospital developing severe disease - such as requiring ventilation - by almost 80%.
It was developed at Southampton University Hospital and is being produced by the Southampton-based biotech company, Synairgen.
Source: BBC News, 13 January 2021