Wow! What a few weeks we have had of alarm and worry and even confusion. Today I am happy to tell you that there’s a French clinical study that concludes that hydroxychloroquine combined with azithromycin works safely to stop COVID-19 in elderly patients. There’s also an interesting computer model developed by Chinese researchers that postulates a mechanism COVID-19 might use to damage the body. But it’s controversial and unproven.
Would you like to know why we have success using anti-malarial drugs against COVID-19? I sure would. How could an antimalarial operate against COVID-19? According to libertymavenstock, writing in an article titled “Covid-19 had us all fooled, but now we might have finally found its secret.” COVID-19 operates to cause hypoxia by binding the heme protein in red blood cells so that blood can’t carry oxygen to the cells and organs of the body. The iron that the heme protein usually binds is then released from the heme protein and it causes oxydative stress in the body. The combination of oxidative stress and oxygen deprivation causes organ failure and tissue damage and death. The reason that antimalarials work, according to this source, is because they also interact with heme in hemoglobin and it may be that drugs like chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine block COVID-19 from opening heme and releasing toxic iron.
Here are some sources that can inform you about this:
Blacklisted News, “New York MD Says He’s Seeing People Suffering from Something that Resembles High Altitude Sickness, Not Pneumonia; Ventilators Possible Harming Them. Accessed 11 April 2020, http://www.blacklistednews.com., link to https://www.cryptogon.com/?p=57989.
Libertymavenstock, “Covid-19 had us all fooled, but now we might have finally found its secret.” http://web.archive.org/web/20200405061401/https://medium.com/@agaiziunas/covid-19-had-us-all-fooled-but-now-we-might-have-finally-found-its-secret-91182386efcb, accessed 12 April, 2020.
A Chinese academic paper published for the purpose of academic discussion based on a computer model: Wenzhong Liu, Hualan Li, “COVID-19: Attacks the 1-Beta Chain of Hemoglobin and Captures the Porphyrin to Inhibit Human Heme Metabolism,” accessed 12 April, 2020.
I’m not finding sources for the libertymavenstock article. I don’t know where this information comes from. It could be based on scientific guesswork. Or it may have been written in response to the Chinese article listed below it. What I do recognize is that there’s a lot of room for discussion. Why are doctors in New York observing hypoxia in COVID-19 patients? Is it lung cell damage? I’ve also heard that the surfactant that coats lung cells is damaged by the infection which causes reduced gas exchange. Chinese and Italian doctors and nurses also observed hypoxia that can lead to death. Hypoxia from less gas exchange might explain why ventilators don’t work on patients. If chloroquine could block hemoglobin damage, that would be a new explanation for why antimalarials work against COVID-19. HCQ-AZ reduces the virus numbers dramatically according to the study listed below from the Mediterranean Institute of Infection. It is surprising for an anti-malarial to do that to a virus and it’s lucky for us that it does.
We all need hope, today. We need hope that we are standing on an easier treatment road right now even though this road may not yet be supported by a lot of research because we haven’t had enough time to do a lot of research. Sometimes anecdotal stories about what works to help patients really can offer helpful direction and this may be one of those times. President Trump mentioned in one of his health broadcasts that he had hope for a new treatment using antimalarials combined with an antibiotic. The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infective Diseases, Dr. Fauci, wanted clinical proof before adopting anecdotal treatments, such as hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin in combination. What if HCQ-AZ is promising enough as a treatment to end the public health threat of COVID-19? Is it time to end the policy of social distancing…without needing a vaccine? It might be that everyone can go back to work, now.
Here’s a source on-line that describes a clinical study performed by Professor Didier Raoult at the Mediterranean Institute of Infection in Marseille France, that shows the superior effectiveness of an antimalarial plus azithromycin combination to treat COVID-19 as compared with some other treatment options:
https://www.mediterranee-infection.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Abstract_Raoult_EarlyTrtCovid19_09042020_vD1v.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2Bx-Fldm2fFsLg7L06BYUz-8QvwuJ-hAW9uWmwx1KdKzCUOYGHtSwXXWw . According to this study, “The HCQ-AZ combination, when started immediately after diagnosis, is a safe and efficient treatment for COVID-19, with a mortality rate of 0.5%, in elderly patients. It avoids worsening and clears virus persistence and contagiosity in most cases.” Since COVID-19 infections can worsen 5 days after symptoms and since hydroxychloroquine + azithromycin dramatically reduces viral load by the 5th day after dosing, it appears that a person who tests positive for COVID-19 and gets this treatment would prevent the worst outcomes of infection altogether.
Addendum: According to Jennifer L Kasten, MD, MSc from a Facebook posting, the theory of hemoglobin attack is based on a completely unproven theory generated by a computer model. According to her, scientists who have checked for an abnormal hemoglobin electrophoresis have found nothing that supports the claim that hemoglobin is changed by COVID-19. She also says that the lung cells are clearly targeted by the virus and damaged directly by it.
If you would like to understand more about politics economics and history, buy a copy of Political Catsup with Economy Fries: Liberalism, Pragmatism, Opportunism, available at Amazon.com. I’m Mel Scanlan Stahl and I wrote this book to help you to make sense of today’s political and economic problems.