Medicine: Drug Against Virus?

Antibiotics effectively attack most bacteria, but in fighting disease-causing pests that are smaller than bacteria—chiefly the viruses—the wonder drugs have chalked up a record of failure. Last week, concluding a series of three articles in the A.M.A. Journal, a group of Navy doctors reported on an antibiotic that works well against what seems to be a form of virus disease. The antibiotic is Declomycin, a close relative to aureomycin. The disease is viral pneumonia.

Bacterial pneumonia, once a major killer, is now largely controlled by sulfa drugs and antibiotics. Viral pneumonia is another matter. Believed to be caused by many kinds...

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