The Senegalese authorities announced on Sunday that they intend to continue prescribing hydroxychloroquine to Covid-19 patients after a preliminary analysis showed a reduction in hospitalization time, as the country is facing a steady increase in the number of cases. 1,115 cases and nine deaths have been officially reported by the health authorities in the two months since the confirmation of the first case on March 2.
“The main finding is that the epidemic is not slowing down,” said Health Minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr to the press. He assured that the pandemic would remain under control, but stressed that the number of cases had increased more than fivefold in one month and that transmission was increasingly taking place amongst the populace.
Faced with the pandemic, Senegal quickly decided to follow the advice of French Professor Didier Raoult by generalizing the prescription of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial agent available on the market and in hospitals, which was at the center of an international controversy among experts over its effectiveness and safety. Donald Trump referred to chloroquine as a “one of the biggest game-changers in the history of medicine” still Dr Anthony Fauci, insisted that only “anecdotal evidence” suggests that the medication could be helpful.
HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine. The FDA has moved mountains – Thank You! Hopefully they will BOTH (H works better with A, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents)…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2020
Dr. Fauci speaks on the clinical trial for potential coronavirus treatment drug remdesivir:
“What it has proven is that a drug can block this virus … This drug happens to be blocking an enzyme that the virus uses." pic.twitter.com/hFTPUIa8No
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 29, 2020
No serious side effects
Professor Moussa Seydi, the infectiologist who coordinates the treatment of infected patients in Senegal, presented the results of a “preliminary” analysis that showed that out of 181 patients, the median length of stay in the hospital was 13 days for those who received no treatment, 11 for those who received only hydroxychloroquine, 9 for those who received hydroxychloroquine in combination with azithromycin (antibiotic), and only 8 for those who were diagnosed early and started treatment within 24 hours.
Based on the analysis of 362 subjects, some side effects were reported in 12 subjects. Treatment, however, was continued for four people because the effects were tolerable and for the remaining eight people the treatment was discontinued, but there were “no serious side effects” and all side effects disappeared at the end of treatment, he reported. “Given these preliminary results, we will continue our hydroxychloroquine treatment,” he said.
How Do the Chloroquine results compare to the results of Remdesivir?
Recently the drug Remdesivir showed in a study that when taken within 10 days it can reduce the Recovery Period by 31% which Dr. Anthony Fauci considers a great leap in the treatment of COVID 19. Remdesivir was recently approved by the FDA for severe cases of coronavirus but so far Gilead Sciences the maker has not set pricing for the treatment however its CEO Daniel O’Day vowed to donate 1.5 million doses of the drug — around 140,000 treatment courses — to hospitals.
Chloroquine and Azithromycin Can Shorten Hospital Stays by up t0 38% according To a study
Chloroquine on the other hand, when taken with Azithromycin within 24 hours according to the Senegalese study, could shorten hospital stays from 13 days to 8 days a decrease of 38%. Most importantly the combination of Chloroquine and Azithromycin is much more affordable and within the reach of most African countries. Both drugs can be easily obtained and have already been used for years and their side effects profile is well known.
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