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Henry Ford Health study: Hydroxychloroquine lowers Covid-19 deaths

The anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine helps lower the death rate of Covid-19 patients, the Detroit-based health system announced on Thursday.

Published: July 6, 2020, 8:24 am

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    Officials with the Michigan health system said the Henry Ford Health study found that the drug “significantly” decreased the death rate of patients treated with the drug.

    Some 2 541 patients hospitalized among the system’s six hospitals between March 10 and May 2 were given the drug and only 13 percent of those treated with hydroxychloroquine died while 26 percent of those who were not given the drug died.

    An overall in-hospital mortality rate of 18 percent among all patients in the study was noted, adding that many who died had underlying conditions that put them at greater risk. A large Portuguese study and some eight hospitals of the Mount Sinai Health System in New York came up with a similar finding.

    Globally, the mortality rate for hospitalized Covid-19 patients is up to 30 percent, and among those in the intensive care unit or on a ventilator, it is 58 percent. Despite this, the WHO stopped a trial on the drug.

    In an interview with French weekly L’Express, the Pitié-Salpêtrière infectiologist Eric Caumes acknowledged that the famous professor at the IHU in Marseille remained a reference in his area of ​​expertise – treating patients with hydroxychloroquine.

    Even Didier Raoult’s detractors in the scientific community have been unanimous about his specific competences. “The worst part is that he says a lot of true things. When he is in his area of ​​expertise, such as on tests, it is very interesting,” said Caumes.

    Beyond his acknowledgment of Raoult, Eric Caumes did not hide his concern about a rebound in the epidemic. “At La Salpêtrière, my unit dedicated to Covid is full. There has never been a disappearance of the virus, contrary to what I have heard in the media. It continues to circulate quietly, and patients are being hospitalized for it. But recently, flights between Algeria and France were organised before the borders officially reopened. There were infected people on board,” he explained.

    “Since last Saturday, we have had cases of bi-nationals who had probably confined themselves there and have now been repatriated. This raises the question of tracing and isolating all the people who have traveled with them, who are now scattered over the territory and are likely to restart the epidemic here, since it is booming in the Maghreb. It’s exploding in Algeria, and the curve is similar in Morocco.”

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