A man in his 60s has died after drinking fish tank cleaner, as he and his partner believed it would prevent them from getting coronavirus.
A couple from Phoenix in their 60s took chloroquine – which is used to clean fish tanks – and it meant disastrous results. The couple had heard Donald Trump suggesting that the substance in its medical form could be a ‘game-changer’ in the fight against coronavirus.
After self-medicating themselves for coronavirus, a man has died and his wife is in critical condition.
The couple from Phoenix, Arizona, took chloroquine phosphate – an additive which is commonly used in aquariums but has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in its medical form for treating malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
However, the couple did not take it in its medicinal form.
The couple had heard President Donald Trump praising the additive, suggesting it as a potential treatment for COVID-19 but the FDA has not approved it as a medication for the deadly disease.
Over the weekend, he made a tweet stating that taking hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin together “have a real chance to be one of the biggest game-changers in the history of medicine”.
Our experience suggests that hydroxychloroquine should be a first-line treatment for Covid-19. We can use it to save lives and prevent others from becoming infected, write @DrJeffColyer and Daniel Hinthorn https://t.co/cnmfKwryJD
— Andy McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) March 23, 2020
Experts from Arizona-based non-profit health system Banner Health have urged people not to consider taking the substance or any other “inappropriate medications and household products”, in an attempt to counter the virus, CNN reports.
Medical Director of Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, Dr Daniel Brooks, has emphasised how it is incredibly dangerous to take matters into your own hands when preventing and treating the virus due to “uncertainty” during the crisis.
He said, “self-medicating is not the way to do so”.
The health care system has informed that the couple, both in their 60s, because to experience “immediate effects” and were admitted to a nearby Banner Health Hospital.
The Phoenix man’s wife is slowly recovering and she told NBC News that she had been watching televised briefings in which the president spoke about the potential benefits of chloroquine.
Previously, she had used it to treat her koi fish and still had some in the house.
The woman – who did not wish to be named – said that the couple had been deeply “afraid of getting sick” from the virus and so decided to mix the chemicals with liquid and drank some.
“I started vomiting,” she said. “My husband started developing respiratory problems and wanted to hold my hand.”
When paramedics arrived they “were asking lots of questions” and she “was having a hard time talking, falling down”.
Shortly after reaching the hospital, her husband passed away.
Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, has stated that anyone in the medical profession would warn that there is still further study to be done.
Although he said the drug could be effective against COVID-19, he told CBS on Sunday that Mr Trump had only heard about the combination as a possible treatment through anecdotal reports.
Dr Fauci, who is serving on the White House coronavirus task force, said: “My job is to prove definitively from a scientific standpoint that they do work.”
Meanwhile, Banner Health has been pleading with health care providers to not prescribe chloroquine to patients who are outside of the hospital or there will be a risk of inundating the emergency departments with people “who believe they found a vague and risky solution”.
In Nigeria, health officials are also concerned about the issue as three people have now died through an overdose on the drug after Mr Trump’s apparent endorsement for chloroquine.