Arizona man dies, wife hospitalized after taking chemicals to protect from coronavirus

Henrietta Brewer
March 25, 2020

The Arizona man is not the first to go wrong in attempting to self-medicate with the substance, with a number of reports out of Nigeria stating that hospitals had seen a series of chloroquine overdoses following President Trump's first mention that it could be used to combat Covid-19.

Chloroquine is also "an additive commonly used at aquariums to clean fish tanks", Banner Health said in a statement. It didn't provide any details about how the Phoenix couple, both in their 60s, acquired the chloroquine. The local media quoted the man's wife saying that she had watched Trump's presser in which he suggested that chloroquine can be used to treat coronavirus infection.

"I started vomiting", she said.

The US has nearly 44,000 cases and 560 deaths, according to a tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University. "My husband started developing respiratory problems and wanted to hold my hand".

Explaining how they both fell ill within minutes, becoming dizzy and hot, she warned: 'He got so bad so fast.

Her husband could not be revived in hospital and she remains in critical care.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved chloroquine to treat lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and malaria.

NY is set to begin a clinical trial on Tuesday that would treat patients with hydroxychloroquine taken together with azithromycin, an antibiotic used to clear secondary bacterial infections.

"They've gone through the approval process, it's been approved, and they did it - they took it down from many, many months to immediate, so we're going to be able to make that drug available by prescription or states".

"Given the uncertainty around COVID-19, we understand that people are trying to find new ways to prevent or treat this virus, but self-medicating is not the way to do so."

"The FDA has been working closely with other government agencies and academic centers that are investigating the use of the drug chloroquine ... to determine whether it can be used to treat patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 to potentially reduce the duration of symptoms, as well as viral shedding, which can help prevent the spread of disease", the FDA said on Thursday in a press release, noting that studies are underway. And that's where the FDA has been so great.

At the same news conference, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, said there had been only anecdotal evidence that the drugs may be effective.

But Trump demonstrated no such restraint at a White House press briefing on Monday.

Last week, Nigerian health officials also issued a warning regarding the drug's misuse after hospitals in Lagos, the nation's capital, began reporting patients suspected of chloroquine poisoning.

Referring to hydroxychloroquine she said: 'They kept saying that it was approved for other things'. "This will cause harm and can lead to death".

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