Published: Wed, March 25, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Arizona man dies after taking chloroquine for coronavirus

Arizona man dies after taking chloroquine for coronavirus

An Arizona man has died and his wife is in intensive care after they overdosed on a drug which Donald Trump incorrectly touted as a coronavirus treatment on TV.

The drug has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis but is unproven for use against the novel coronavirus.

After hearing the name "chloroquine" spoken frequently on the news, the wife noticed that the chemical solvent used to keep their koi pond clean included the same ingredient, with the goal of killing aquatic parasites that may gather in the fish tank over time.

The couple were both in their 60s. As per the hospital's statement, the couple started feeling the ill-effects thirty minutes after ingesting the concoction.

"I started vomiting", the woman told NBC News.

The University of Minnesota has launched a 1,500-person trial to see whether hydroxychloroquine can prevent or reduce the severity of COVID-19 in people exposed to the virus - including healthcare workers and family members of infected people.

In Arizona, a man died and his wife was hospitalized after taking a nonmedical form of chloroquine used to fight parasites in aquariums.

In a recorded interview with NBC News Vaughn Hillyard, the heartbroken woman reiterated that she and her husband only took the medication because Trump "kept saying it was basically a cure".

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The US President had also met with criticism for suggesting a medication that has not been approved by medical experts, who believe the drug needs to be studied more before being promoted as an effective treatment for coronavirus infection.

According to NBC News, the name "chloronique" clicked with the man's now-widow, because she used it to treat her koi fish.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted about the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, saying it had "a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine". And that's where the FDA has been so great.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert who has been appearing alongside Trump during the pandemic update briefings, corrected Trump about using the additives, saying that information is "anecdotal" and that now, there is zero evidence that suggests it's effective for COVID-19 patients. But no drug has been approved to treat COVID-19, and a vaccine is estimated to remain at least a year away. "I.have said I'm not disagreeing with the fact anecdotally they might work, but my job is to prove definitively from a scientific standpoint that they do work", Fauci, who serves on the White House coronavirus task force, said.

Mr Fauci, who serves on the White House coronavirus task force, is widely seen as the face of the United States response.

Health officials are urging people not to try to self-medicate during the coronavirus pandemic.

Physicians have warned Americans to consult with her primary care doctor before taking chloroquine because it could lead to serious complications or even death.

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