Hydroxychloroquine: A Farewell Note
2020 has been a singular, unprecedented year for humanity by all accounts. The quickly spreading novel COVID-19 virus has brought forth countless challenges and alterations to our quotidian lives. Numerous attempts to eradicate the new virus have been made, and some of these methods are set up to fail after clinical trials. Such is the case of the ubiquitously spoken about hydroxychloroquine. Said pharmaceuticals have been the epitome of many headlines on the news presently, raising different opinions and diverse political views. An article shared on Facebook about Uganda’s approach to the current pandemic has linked the country’s low case rate to the use of hydroxychloroquine. However, this hoax has been deflated by the immediate preventative measures the Ugandan government has taken instead, which hydroxychloroquine is certainly no part of it.
As noted in the article authored by Dr. Eowyn entitled “Hydroxychloroquine is why Uganda, with a population of 43M, has only 15 COVID-19 deaths,” it is evident that The Palmer Foundation supports this hypothesis fully. But some experts have debunked this information by stating that hydroxychloroquine has not been the first-line treatment for malaria patients for many years; it is also not recommended for COVID-19 patients’ treatment. To that end, it becomes evident that the Ugandan government was diving into more proactive resolutions to handle the deadly pandemic. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Ugandan government took measures to control the rapidly expanding virus. Reuters stated that “Uganda closed schools and banned large gatherings three days before confirming its first case on March 21. By the end of March, most businesses were shut, vehicle movement was banned, and an overnight curfew was in force. Masks became mandatory in public in May”. These first measures logically caused new economic challenges to the African country; however, it helped prevent the spread of the deadly virus by unquantifiable numbers.
The use of hydroxychloroquine has been highly controversial since COVID-19 became a health threat. Different headlines embraced the news about the potential of this anti-malaria drug. Even the United States of America’s President Donald J. Trump advocated this drug, raising hope for an effective treatment against the virus and admitting to having taken it himself for preventative purposes. The fad went places, so much so that an Arizona couple faced tragedy after ingesting chloroquine phosphate, causing the woman to be in critical condition and her husband to die in an attempt to prevent the virus.
Arizona police say death of man who drank chloroquine phosphate 'not being treated as a homicide'
MESA, AZ - The Mesa Police Department is refuting claims that a death involving a chemical similar to the one promoted…
The FDA communicated on July 1st that the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can be linked with “serious heart rhythm problems and other safety issues, including blood and lymph system disorders, kidney injuries, and liver problems and failure.” This statement showcases that hydroxychloroquine has never been linked to a successful nor positive outcome treatment for COVID-19. Furthermore, in an article published on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, the use of hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic treatment is refuted by the following. “We report a case of COVID-19 in a patient with sarcoidosis who was receiving long-term hydroxychloroquine treatment and contracted COVID-19 despite adequate plasma concentrations” (Bénézit, et al). This quote connects the student’s line of thoughts with the previously analyzed fake news article associating hydroxychloroquine with lower coronavirus cases in Uganda.
By fact-checking the fake article related to hydroxychloroquine, just one outcome holds truth to the student. This drug is not as reliable as people were directed to believe at the beginning of this frightful pandemic. The results of the usage of this medication on COVID-19 infected patients are far away from a lively and risk-free factor. It remains highly essential to fact-check health-related information since this is for humanity’s wellness. Spreading fake-news about health information should be banned at all costs and punishable by law.
Bénézit F, Le Bot A, Jouneau S, et al. COVID-19 in Patient with Sarcoidosis Receiving Long-Term Hydroxychloroquine Treatment, France, 2020. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2020;26(10):2513–2515. doi:10.3201/eid2610.201816. Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.
Biryabarema, Elias. “Uganda’s Tough Approach Curbs COVID, Even as Africa Nears 1 Million Cases.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 5 Aug. 2020, www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-uganda/ugandas-tough-approach-curbs-covid-even-as-africa-nears-1-million-cases-idUSKCN251159. Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.
Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “FDA Cautions Use of Hydroxychloroquine/Chloroquine for COVID-19.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-cautions-against-use-hydroxychloroquine-or-chloroquine-covid-19-outside-hospital-setting-or. Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.
Dr. Eowyn. “Hydroxychloroquine Is Why Uganda, with a Population of 43M, Has Only 15 COVID-19 Deaths.” The Palmer Foundation, 24 Aug. 2020, www.palmerfoundation.com.au/hydroxychloroquine-is-why-uganda-with-a-population-of-43m-has-only-15-covid-19-deaths/. Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.
Schaedel, Sydney. “Uganda’s Low COVID-19 Cases Due to Restrictions, Not Hydroxychloroquine.” FactCheck.org, 12 Oct. 2020, www.factcheck.org/2020/10/ugandas-low-covid-19-cases-due-to-restrictions-not-hydroxychloroquine/. Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.