Husband Dies After Ingesting Substance He Hoped Would Protect Him From Covid-19
An Arizona couple, desperate to avoid getting sick, mistakenly took what they believed would help keep them safe from catching novel Coronavirus. Sadly, that couldn't have been further from the truth.
After hearing hopeful news that the drug hydroxychloroquine was being tested as a possible treatment for the Wuhan virus, Covid-19, the couple ingested their fish tank treatment- chloroquine phosphate after unfortunately equated the two.
The wife asked that their names not be released to protect their identities. She told her story in an NBC exclusive:
The name "chloroquine" resonated with the man's wife, who asked that her name not be used to protect the family's privacy. She'd used it previously to treat her koi fish.
"I saw it sitting on the back shelf and thought, 'Hey, isn't that the stuff they're talking about on TV?'"
The couple — both in their 60s and potentially at higher risk for complications of the virus — decided to mix a small amount of the substance with a liquid and drink it as a way to prevent the coronavirus.
"We were afraid of getting sick," she said.
Within 20 minutes, both became extremely ill, at first feeling "dizzy and hot."
"I started vomiting," the woman told NBC News. "My husband started developing respiratory problems and wanted to hold my hand."
She called 911. The emergency responders "were asking a lot of questions" about what they'd consumed. "I was having a hard time talking, falling down."
Shortly after he arrived at the hospital, her husband died.
The wife now wants her story heard so that others can avoid making the same mistake. She has said this is a sadness she will never get over.
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are oral prescription drugs that have been used for treatment of malaria and certain inflammatory conditions like lupus. According to the CDC, chloroquine has been used for malaria treatment and chemoprophylaxis, meanwhile hydroxychloroquine is also used for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and porphyria cutanea tarda.
Both drugs have in-vitro activity against SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, and other coronaviruses, with hydroxychloroquine having relatively higher potency against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that produces COVID-19 disease), according to the CDC. Chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine are currently recommended for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in several countries.
Doctors are again urging people to not self medicate. It's extremely important to note that hydroxychloroquine is still in the trial phase and not passed all of the US standard safety checkpoints.
The mainstream media has spun this story to be the President's fault for mentioning the possible potential of this medication in fighting the novel strain of Coronavirus. However, the President is waiting for the professionals to properly vet the drug- just like everyone else.
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