Cameronian born medical practitioner, Dr. Stella Immanuel, a General Practitioner (GP) in the United States recently stated that she has treated over 350 patients of COVID-19 with a combination of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), Zinc, and Zithromax.
She said at a news conference held by a group of American doctors under the aegis of “America’s Frontline Doctors” in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington DC that the antimalarial drug Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc and Antibacterial Drug Zithromax, were effective cures for the coronavirus disease.
The doctors held a two-day “White Coat Summit” at the Capitol Hill to address what they call “massive disinformation campaign” surrounding the virus.
These claims which have been met with widespread popularity have been proven to be purely unsubstantiated and not scientifically proven on numerous levels.
For long, the argument over the effects of the drugs Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc and Antibacterial drug Zithromax on Coronavirus has been at the forefront of worldwide scientific research.
Over the past few months, promotion by leading political figures such as President Donald Trump of United States of America, President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and others have led to both hydroxychloroquine, and the related drug chloroquine, becoming the subject of widespread speculation online about their potential benefits and harmful effects. This has led to high demand for the drug and global supply shortages. There’s also been controversy within the scientific community.
Early March, an Arizona man died, and his wife was hospitalised, after taking a form of chloroquine, which President Trump has touted as an effective treatment for COVID-19. The couple decided to self-medicate with chloroquine phosphate, which they had on hand to kill parasites in their fish, after hearing the president describe the drug as a “game-changer.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of NIH’s National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, quickly corrected the statement, explaining that Trump’s comments were based on anecdotes and not a controlled clinical trial.
Many American scientists have begun a trial to see if chloroquine will help treat coronavirus Trials around the world were temporarily derailed when a study published in The Lancet claimed the drug increased fatalities and heart problems in some patients. The results prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) and others to halt trials over safety concerns.
The Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) is conducting mass clinical trials and has enrolled 40,000 frontline workers in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America, giving participants either chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine or a placebo.
Hydroxychloroquine has long been used to treat malaria as well as other conditions such as lupus and arthritis.
It’s used to reduce fever and inflammation, and the hope has been that it can also inhibit the virus that causes Covid-19.
Some early studies showed that it may be able to shorten the duration of symptoms experienced by coronavirus patients, while others indicated it had no positive effect at all.
One of the world’s largest studies – the Recovery trial run by Oxford University – has involved 11,000 patients with coronavirus in hospitals across the UK and included testing hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness against the disease, along with other potential treatments.
It concluded that “there is no beneficial effect of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalised with COVI-19″ and the drug has now been pulled from the trial.
There’s been some hope that hydroxychloroquine could be effective if used early on when a person gets the virus, before there’s a need for them to be hospitalised.
However, there’s no clear evidence on this and the jury is very much out as to its effectiveness in the early stages of infection.
There are in fact overall more than 200 trials currently underway around the world on its impact either as a prophylactic or treatment for Covid-19.
A number of countries have authorised the hospital use of hydroxychloroquine or its use in clinical studies under the supervision of healthcare professionals.
In March the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted “emergency use” authorisation for these drugs in the treatment of Covid-19 for a limited number of hospitalised cases. But the FDA subsequently issued a warning about the risk of the drugs causing serious heart rhythm problems in coronavirus patients and cautioned against using them outside of a hospital setting or clinical trial. And in June, the FDA withdrew the drug., saying clinical trials had shown it was no longer reasonable to believe it would produce an antiviral effect.
There have also been reports of people poisoning themselves taking the drugs without medical supervision.
The WHO has responded by advising people not to self-medicate and “has cautioned against physicians and medical associations recommending or administering these unproven treatments.”
France had authorised hospitals to prescribe the drugs for patients with Covid-19 but later reversed that decision after the country’s medical watchdog warned of possible side effects.
It is still unclear how the chloroquines (or any antimalarial drug) would work against COVID-19, which is a virus. Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites that are spread by mosquitoes, whereas COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Viral infections and parasitic infections are very different, and so scientists wouldn’t expect what works for one to work for the other. It has been suggested that the chloroquines can change the acidity at the surface of the cell, thereby preventing the virus from infecting it.
It’s also possible chloroquines help activate the immune response. One study that was just published tested hydroxychloroquine in combination with an antibacterial drug (azithromycin), which worked better to stop the spread of the infection than hydroxychloroquine alone. However, it’s only one preliminary study that was done on a limited test group.
The American Medical Association needs to urgently summon Dr. Stella Immanuela and her accomplices to prove how the antimalarial drug Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, and Antibacterial drug Zithromax can be used in the inhibition and break down of the COVID-19 virus.
Her claims do not correspond with a lot of scientific and medical populations out there, it also does not correspond with the stance of the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which said that hydroxychloroquine is “unlikely to produce an antiviral effect.” And it is at dissonance with the World Health Organisation, WHO, as it did the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who have recommended normal preventive measures and healthy living in order to combat the spread of the virus.
Calling Dr. Immanuel to order is very necessary to prevent the likelihood of widespread misinformation and threat to human lives worldwide.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK