Anti-Malaria Drug Helps Speed Up Recovery of COVID-19 Patients: Study

April 2, 2020

A new drug has shown promise in helping speed the recovery of coronavirus patients.

A study says that antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine has helped patients suffering a mild form of COVID-19, reported the New York Post.

In the study, researchers from China discovered that patients who took the drug saw that their cough, pneumonia, and fever went away faster.

However, the study did not provide data on patients who were severely ill.

Researchers explained how the findings were still in the beginning stages, and more work needed to be done. After that, scientists would find out how hydroxychloroquine might work to treat coronavirus.

“It is going to send a ripple of excitement out through the treating community,” Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, said.

The latest study was done at the Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan, China - the area where the virus originated. The study included 62 patients that were at the average age of 45. Researchers did not include anyone with preexisting health conditions that could be worsened by hydroxychloroquine. That includes eye diseases, kidney or liver problems, or abnormal heart rates.

Half of the patients received the usual treatment for coronavirus while the other half got hydroxychloroquine along with usual measures taken. The study found that symptoms were eased a day or so earlier than those who did not receive hydroxychloroquine.

The study also noted that pneumonia improved in 25 of 31 receiving special treatment.

Back in March, a man from Arizona died from ingesting chloroquine phosphate in an attempt to prevent himself from getting the coronavirus. The man’s wife also took the substance and ended up in critical care.

The couple mistakenly took the toxic ingredient under the impression that they were consuming the medication form of chloroquine, a drug used to treat malaria. However, what they ingested was an ingredient used in a parasite treatment for fish.

The man’s wife said she watched press conferences during which President Trump talked about the potential benefits of chloroquine, which some early research suggests may be useful as a therapy for COVID-19. Doctors have yet to approve a drug to prevent or treat the virus.

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