An arrangement of Hydroxychloroquine pills in Las Vegas. AP
Some politicians and doctors are sparring over whether to use hydroxychloroquine against the new coronavirus, with many scientists saying the evidence is too thin to recommend it now.
HOW IS IT BEING USED?
The drug can help tame an overactive immune system. It's been used since the 1940s to prevent and treat malaria, and to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. It's sold in generic form and under the brand name Plaquenil in the United States. Doctors also can prescribe it "off label” for other purposes, as many are doing now for COVID-19.
WHAT'S THE EVIDENCE?
Some small and very preliminary studies give conflicting results. One lab study suggested it curbed the virus' ability to enter cells. Another report on 11 people found it did not improve how fast patients cleared the virus or their symptoms. A report from China claimed the drug helped more than 100 patients at 10 hospitals, but they had various degrees of illness and were treated with various doses for different lengths of time, and might have recovered without the drug - there was no group that didn't get the drug for comparison.
Other researchers in China reported that cough, pneumonia and fever seemed to improve sooner among 31 patients given hydroxychloroquine compared to 31 others who did not get the drug, although fewer people in the comparison group had cough or fevers to start with. Four people developed severe illness and all were in the group that did not get the drug. These results were posted online and have not been reviewed by other scientists or published in a journal.
Finally, the small study from France that President Donald Trump touted as evidence of the drug's benefit is now in question. The head of the journal that published it has put out an “expression of concern” about its methods.
Larger, more rigorous studies are underway now.
WHAT'S THE RISK?
The drug can cause heart rhythm problems, severely low blood pressure and muscle or nerve damage. Taking it outside of a scientific experiment adds the risk of not having tracking in place to watch for any of these side effects or problems and quickly address them if they do occur.
Trump, who flew back to Washington after a weekend golfing at his Florida resort and having dinner with Brazil's right-wing president, has spent weeks dismissing the seriousness of the threat.
Trump, in a rare Oval Office address to the nation on Wednesday night, said the month-long restriction on travel would begin late on Friday, at midnight. After days of playing down the coronavirus threat, he blamed Europe for not acting quickly enough to address the "foreign virus” and claimed that US clusters were "seeded” by European travellers.
US President Donald Trump said that it has been "weeks" since he touched his face as a precaution against the coronavirus epidemic and that it was something that he "misses".
As you age, there are many things you can do to maintain your health. Here are some tips that you can incorporate to remain healthy while getting older.
While other restaurants across France can fully reopen Tuesday, the high number of COVID-19 cases and higher contagion risks in the densely populated Paris region prompted authorities to allow only limited operations for now.
A group of six athletes based in Abu Dhabi smashed the Guinness World Records title for the Most chest to ground burpees in 24 hours (mixed team).