A Phoenix-area man is dead and his wife is under critical care after the two took chloroquine phosphate in an apparent attempt to self-medicate for the novel coronavirus, according to hospital system Banner Health.
It does not appear they took the pharmaceutical version of the drug, but rather “an additive commonly used at aquariums to clean fish tanks,” Banner Health said in a statement.
Though Banner did not provide additional details, NBC News spoke to the wife, who said they learned of chloroquine’s connection to coronavirus during a U.S. President Donald Trump news conference, which “was on a lot actually.” They took it because they “were afraid of getting sick,” she said.
“I had (the substance) in the house because I used to have koi fish,” she told the network. “I saw it sitting on the back shelf and thought, ‘Hey, isn’t that the stuff they’re talking about on TV?'”
Trump has touted chloroquine as a possible treatment for Covid-19. It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, but the FDA has not approved it to treat the coronavirus.
Banner Health experts emphasized that the medication — as well as other “inappropriate medications and household products” — “should not be ingested to treat or prevent this virus.”
“Given the uncertainty around Covid-19, we understand that people are trying to find new ways to prevent or treat this virus,” Dr. Daniel Brooks, medical director of the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, said in the statement. “But self-medicating is not the way to do so.”
Seven years ago, the publication, Advanced Aquarist, heralded three forms of chloroquine as “a ‘new’ drug for treating fish diseases” and detailed its effectiveness in fighting off certain parasites in saltwater aquariums.
Banner Health, which is based in Arizona, didn’t give any details on how the couple, both in their 60s, acquired the chloroquine or which Banner hospital treated them.
“Within thirty minutes of ingestion, the couple experienced immediate effects requiring admittance to a nearby Banner Health hospital,” its statement said.
Trump has called chloroquine and the closely related hydroxychloroquine potentially important in the fight against Covid-19.
“HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine,” he tweeted Saturday.
Early research suggests the drug could be useful against the virus, but Trump’s comments have prompted health officials to warn that further study is needed.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has said the drugs may be effective against the novel coronavirus. However, he told CBS’ Margaret Brennan on Sunday that Trump had heard about the hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin combination’s effectiveness from anecdotal reports.
“I’m not disagreeing with the fact anecdotally they might work, but my job is to prove definitively from a scientific standpoint that they do work,” said Fauci, who serves on the White House coronavirus task force.
In Nigeria, health officials issued a warning about chloroquine, saying three people in the country have overdosed on the drug after Trump endorsed it as a potential treatment.
Banner Health said it is “strongly urging” health care providers not to prescribe chloroquine to patients who aren’t hospitalized.
“The last thing that we want right now is to inundate our emergency departments with patients who believe they found a vague and risky solution that could potentially jeopardize their health,” Brooks said.
Second case of COVID-19 announced in Thunder Bay – Tbnewswatch.com
THUINDER BAY – A day after reporting the city’s first confirmed case of COVID-19, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit has confirmed a second, unrelated case.
The case is travel-related and involves an individual in their twenties, who returned from the United States about two weeks ago. They developed symptoms while self-isolating at home, informed the health unit, and were tested at the hospital’s COVID-19 assessment centre.
The health unit says it immediately began an investigation to determine others who may have been exposed through contact with the individual while they were infectious, saying it has now contacted an unspecified number of people.
“The public health investigation and follow-up is ongoing, however, it is clear that people have been taking precautions including self-isolating,” said Janet DeMille, medical officer of health at TBDHU. “This is important as it helps contain the virus to a group of closely linked individuals and reduces the likelihood of spread in the community.”
The new case brings the total number of confirmed cases in Northwestern Ontario to four.
London man dies of COVID-19 as more positive cases reported – CBC.ca
A London man has died of COVID-19 as public health officials across the region report new cases Saturday.
CBC London has learned that a man in his 70s, who had previously been admitted to hospital, has died. It’s the first death in the Middlesex-London region since the pandemic was declared.
Two new cases of the virus were reported by the Middlesex-London Health Unit Saturday, bringing the total number of positive cases in the city to 25.
Public health officials say a man in his 50s and a man in his 60s have contracted the virus, but details have not yet been released regarding how the men were infected or whether they’re in hospital or self-isolation.
Meanwhile, Huron Perth Public Health officials have confirmed three new cases in the area, including a healthcare worker.
She is in her 40s, from St. Marys, and had no travel history or known contact with any confirmed case. She’s currently in self-isolation at home.
A man who presented at South Huron Hospital, and has since been transferred to London Health Sciences Centre, also tested positive. He’s in his 60s and has no travel history or known contact with positive cases.
Another man with close contact to two Londoners already diagnosed with the virus, has also tested positive. He’s in his 60s and is in self-isolation at home in Stratford.
Huron Perth currently has five cases, including a man in critical condition in hospital.
Oxford and Elgin counties, and the city of St. Thomas have not yet reported Saturday on whether there are new cases. As of Friday, there were five cases in that area.
More people in hospital
As the number of positive cases grow, so do hospital admissions. The London Health Science Centre said there are four people, two at University Hospital and two at Victoria Hospital in intensive care units.
Across Ontario, the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in intensive care units has doubled in less than two days.
There were 43 patients hospitalized in Ontario’s ICUs on Friday, up from 29 on Thursday and 17 on Wednesday, according to figures from the province’s associate chief medical officer of health, Dr. Barbara Yaffe.
Three more COVID-19 cases in Huron and Perth – BlackburnNews.com
Three more COVID-19 cases in Huron and Perth
March 28, 2020 12:52pm
Huron Perth Public Health has received laboratory confirmation of three more cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Huron and Perth. This brings the total confirmed cases to five for our area.
The three new positive cases include:
A male in his 60’s from Stratford who is in self-isolation at home. He has had close contact with two confirmed cases in London.
A female in her late 40’s from St. Marys who is a healthcare worker with the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance and is in self-isolation at home with no travel or known contact with confirmed cases. She was not identified as a contact of the first two confirmed cases in St. Marys, but this is under review.
A male in his 60’s from South Huron who presented at South Huron Hospital and was transferred to London Health Sciences Centre. There is no travel history or known contact with positive cases.
The first two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Huron Perth were in St. Marys residents, one of whom is still in critical condition at Stratford General Hospital according to Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance, and the other case continues to self isolate at home.
“We were not surprised to receive these three new cases in Huron Perth,” said Dr. Miriam Klassen, Medical Officer of Health. “The new cases confirm that we are now seeing local spread in our area, which is a similar pattern to what has been showing up across Ontario.”
Huron Perth Public Health staff will be conducting thorough contact tracing related to these confirmed cases.
“Please be assured that public health is following all necessary case management to ensure that close contacts are contacted and receiving instructions from us,” added Dr. Klassen. “If our investigation reveals that the case attended a public event while able to transmit illness, further information will be shared with our community.”
HPPH is strongly encouraging everyone in our community to continue following guidelines to reduce local spread. “It’s important for everyone to practice physical distancing,” urged Dr. Klassen. “Anyone who has symptoms of illness should be self isolating from others – even in their own household.”
Dr. Klassen says when in doubt, act as though you’re infected.
“It’s not enough anymore to say ‘this person hasn’t traveled’, and ‘this person hasn’t had contact with a case’. There’s enough transmission happening in Ontario that if you have symptoms, you should think of yourself as having COVID-19.”
Other everyday actions can help prevent the spread of germs and viruses like COVID-19:
· Wash your hands often with warm water and soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
· Avoid contact with people who are sick
· Stay home when you are sick
· Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
If someone is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, such as cough or fever:
1. Complete the Ontario government’s On Line Assessment tool at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/#q0.
2. If the online tool tells you to seek clinical assessment, contact the office of your family doctor for a phone assessment. If you do not have a family doctor, contact Huron Perth Public Health. It is important that you do not visit your doctor’s office without calling first.
3. If further action is needed, you will be given directions by the assessor. For those without access to a computer, contact the office of your family doctor for a phone assessment. If you do not have a family doctor, contact Huron Perth Public Health.
If calling for a Virtual Assessment after hours and weekends, please call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or Huron Perth Public Health at 1-888-221-2133 ext. 3267 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 4pm). Note: If your COVID-19 screening results in the need for a hospital visit, please call ahead. Anyone with severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, or any other medical emergency should call 911.
Going forward, Huron Perth Public Health will be posting new confirmed cases on its website only.
“We remain committed to keeping our community updated and aware of the risks of COVID-19,” said Dr. Klassen. “We urge everyone to continue following public health guidance and to practice physical distancing – it may take some time, but it will work in helping to flatten the curve.”
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