Since the COVID-19 pandemic overtook America, there has been one constant: The President’s unwavering belief in a malaria drug called hydroxychloroquine to treat the condition.
He even reported taking a two-week cycle of the drug, against doctor’s recommendations, to protect himself after White House staffers fell ill. There is no evidence the drug helps with COVID-19, and it may even present danger.
Earlier this week, the World Health Organization announced that hydroxychloroquine was being removed from global trials because COVID-19 patients taking it were more likely to die than those who did not. This echoes the results of previous studies showing it is either without benefit and potentially harmful.
It’s likely debatable whether or not the President took it, but it’s recommended that you don’t follow his lead. Instead, if you’re displaying COVID symptoms, get in for a test.
Recent research—the results of which are changing daily—is that early identification and treatment are the best methods for beating COVID-19. An effective standardized treatment is yet to emerge, however, there is a number in the testing phase.
One potential treatment that gained steam early is an anti-viral called remdesivir, but recent studies are showing it is rather ineffective on its own. Trials are currently underway to assess whether it works well with other potent anti-inflammatory and antiviral drugs.
So far, there is no known treatment or vaccine for COVID-19. Researchers around the world are working tirelessly to develop both, and hopefully, they discover something as soon as possible. Until then, physical distancing, hand hygiene, staying inside as much as possible, and face masks are the best ways to minimize risk.
One thing we do know for sure is that certain inflammatory conditions can increase the risk for a severe case of COVID-19. Looking to the future, you can adopt lifestyle habits that may help reduce the risk.
Things to focus on include weight loss, healthy diet, activity, lower blood pressure, and managing any existing health conditions as best you can.