Health officials in Nigeria and the United States are reporting chloroquine poisoning cases with at least one death, after US President Donald Trump falsely claimed that the US FDA approved chloroquine for the treatment and/or prevention of COVID-19.
Here’s what’s going on, and why you should NOT use chloroquine to treat or prevent COVID-19!
Donald Trump Falsely Claimed Chloroquine Approved By FDA To Treat COVID-19
US President Donald Trump recently stunned doctors, scientists and even the US FDA itself, when he claimed on a televised press conference that the US FDA approved chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the part of the White House Coronavirus Task Force almost immediately stepped up to correct him.
The fact of the matter is the US FDA approved chloroquine in 1944, and hydroxychloroquine in 1955, but neither have been approved for use against COVID-19.
On 19 March 2020, the US FDA issued a statement, clarifying that chloroquine is merely being studied to determine if it can be used to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19.
They also reiterated that “there are no FDA-approved therapeutics or drugs to treat, cure or prevent COVID-19.”
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Chloroquine Poisoning In United States
Banner Health in the US has just confirmed that a man has died and his wife is under critical care, after they both consumed chloroquine phosphate in an apparent attempt to prevent COVID-19.
Within 30 minutes of taking chloroquine, the couple, both in their 60s, experienced immediate side effects and had to be admitted to a nearby Banner Health hospital.
Chloroquine Poisoning In Nigeria
Nigerian officials also reported that three people were hospitalised in Lagos for chloroquine poisoning, after taking chloroquine to prevent COVID-19.
They later issued a statement telling people not to use chloroquine to treat or prevent COVID-19 :
According to CNN, Trump’s endorsement of chloroquine has led to price surges in Nigeria as people rush to purchase it.
Kayode Fabunmi, a Lagos-based lawyer, said: “The pharmacist knew the market and was saying to every incoming customer, ‘You know Donald Trump has said this thing cures coronavirus,’ and the price kept changing.
“The original price was 200 naira (around 50 cents), then it became 500 naira ($1.38) then it became 1,000 naira ($2.77) while I was there,” he said.
The Lagos State Health Ministry also issued a statement, with a video of Professor Akin Abayomi (Lagos State Commission for Health) :
“We do not have any hard evidence that chloroquine is effective in preventing or managing #COVID19” – @ProfAkinAbayomi@NigeriaGov@followlasg @jidesanwoolu @toluogunlesi @ogundamisi@NCDCgov@Fmohnigeria@NafdacAgency@WHONigeria pic.twitter.com/qtBAsAniTp
— LSMOH (@LSMOH) March 21, 2020
Chloroquine Poisoning : Do NOT Use It To Prevent COVID-19!
It is possible that chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine MIGHT have some effect on COVID-19. That is the reason it is one of the twenty or so drugs being tested.
But Dr. Anthony Fauci was reticent about letting even US President Donald Trump declare that it works, because there is no proof yet that it works against COVID-19.
Even if it can be used to treat COVID-19, they have to determine the therapeutic dose, and whether the dose will be harmful to patients.
Let us remind you that chloroquine itself can cause shortness of breath, as well as other side effects like itchiness, blurred vision, nausea, vomitting, headache, diarrhoea, muscle weakness and easy bruising.
In addition, people can easily overdose on chloroquine and die from it.
Please do NOT believe anything Donald Trump tells you. Listen to your Dr. Fauci and qualified scientists and doctors.
Stay safe, wherever you are!
COVID-19 : How To Keep Safe!
Here are a few simple steps to stay safe from COVID-19 :
- Avoid suspected cases or disease hotpots, like hospitals, if possible!
- Avoid public events and crowds
- Keep our hands clean with soap or hand sanitiser
- Keep our homes, offices, vehicles, etc. clean
- If you need to wear a surgical mask, make sure you put it on and remove it properly!
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