He and his wife took fish medicine because it contained the same substance that recent studies could help cure Covid-19.
A man from the area of Phoenix died and his wife is in critical condition after they both ingested chloroquine phosphate, an additive used to clean fish tanks that is also found in a medicine Against malaria that President Donald Trump has said serves to treat COVID-19.
The couple in their early 60s became ill half an hour after taking the additive, the nonprofit Banner Health said. The man could not be resuscitated when he arrived at the hospital, but the woman managed to vomit most of the chemical, he added.
It is unknown whether the couple ingested it specifically to combat COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirusBut Banner Health is now warning everyone not to self-medicate.
“Given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we understand that people are trying to find new ways to prevent or treat this virus, but the self-medicate it’s not the way to do it, “said Dr. Daniel Brooks, medical director of Banner’s Center for Drug and Poison Information.
“The last thing we want now is to flood our emergency rooms with patients who believe they have found a vague and risky solution that could endanger their health,” he added.
At a press conference last week, Trump falsely claimed that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had just approved the use of a malaria medicine called chloroquine to care for patients infected with the coronavirus. Even after the FDA director clarified that the drug still needs to be tested for that use, Trump overstated its possible silver lining for containing the virus.
A prescription is required to purchase chloroquine, and Banner Health is now urging doctors not to prescribe it to people who are not hospitalized. The difference between the fish bowl cleaning additive the couple ingested and the medicine used to fight malaria is the way they are formulated.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Arizona it increased more than 50% in one day, from 152 on Sunday to 235 on Monday, according to the state Department of Health.
Pima County reported her first death from this disease: a woman over the age of 50 with a previous health problem.
In most people, the virus only causes moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. However, in older adults and in people with pre-existing conditions it can cause serious complications, including pneumonia.