Man dies after ingesting chloroquine in an attempt to prevent coronavirus

An Arizona man died after taking chloroquine phosphate to protect himself from being infected with the coronavirus. The man’s wife also took the drug and is currently under critical care.

The drug chloroquine is used to treat malaria, and some early research suggests that it can be useful in the treatment of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

No drugs are approved to prevent or treat the coronavirus.

If drugs are taken with no clear scientific benefit, “they can do a lot of harm,” said Dr. Ben Singer, a lung and intensive care specialist at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, who was not related to the Arizona case.

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“Given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we understand that people are trying to find new ways to prevent or treat this virus, but self-medication is not the way to do it,” said Dr. Daniel Brooks, medical director of Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, said in a statement.

A Arizona Health press release said the husband and wife, both over 60 years old, used an additive called chloroquine phosphate to clean aquariums to prevent the coronavirus.

Both had to see an emergency doctor within half an hour. The man later died.

On Friday, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control urged its citizens not to treat themselves with chloroquine, as “this can cause harm and result in death”. The country had reported at least two such poisonings.

During a press conference last week, President Trump highlighted the drug’s potential. However, the Food and Drug Administration later said that there was no chloroquine approved for the coronavirus, and many more studies were needed.

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