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Earlier this month, study results showed that molnupiravir, Merck’s investigational antiviral pill, cut hospitalization rates of Covid-19 patients by about half. Molnupiravir is the first oral treatment that has shown promise in treating Covid-19. Another antiviral, remdesivir, can only be administered intravenously.

“Having an oral option will be a big change,” said Benjamin Gewurz, associate director of the Ph.D. program in virology at Harvard Medical School. “Some people could just take a pill rather than having an IV or injection of some sort. And that’s what would be a huge, huge advance.”

This video explains exactly how this drug works in the body to combat the coronavirus.

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Correction: A previous version of this video incorrectly described nucleotides as proteins.

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