Coronoavirus

Q: Can anti-malaria pills be used to treat COVID-19? Do we have enough pills in Victoria?

A: No, there is no approved treatment for COVID-19 – yet. Some people have turned to the anti-malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as treatments for COVID-19.

Although the two drugs are approved by the FDA to treat malaria and other conditions, they are not yet approved to treat COVID-19. Researchers around the world and the country are studying the drugs to see if they are effective, but until then experts say you should not take either drug unless it is recommended by your doctor.

A clinical trial led by the University of Washington School of Medicine with the New York University Grossman School of Medicine will study whether the drugs could work for patients with COVID-19.

“We currently don’t know if hydroxychloroquine works, but we will learn in as short a timeframe as possible what the outcome is,” said Ruanne Barnabas, the trial’s principal investigator, in a news release.

In addition to the fact that hydroxychloroquine is an unproven treatment for COVID-19, experts say members of the public should not stock up on the drugs because patients in need of the drug might have trouble finding it.

Ciara McCarthy covers public health for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. You can reach her at cmccarthy@vicad.com or at 580-6597 or on Twitter at @mccarthy_ciara. To support local journalism at the Advocate through Report for America, go to VictoriaAdvocate.com/report.

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Health Reporter

Ciara McCarthy covers public health and health care for the Advocate as a Report for America corps member. Questions, tips, or ideas? Please get in touch: cmccarthy@vicad.com or call 361-580-6597.

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