PHOENIX, NETRALNEWS.COM - An elderly man from Arizona has died, while his wife is in critical condition after taking chloroquine phosphate-an aquarium cleaning product similar to a drug that US President Donald Trump said had potential for coronavirus infection treatment.
The couple, who are in their 60s, experienced health problems after taking chloroquine phosphate, which is an additive used in aquariums to clean fish tanks, according to Banner Health Hospital in Phoenix.
Chloroquine phosphate has an active ingredient similar to a malaria drug that President Trump has said is effective for dealing with COVID-19, a potentially life-threatening disease caused by the coronavirus.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted about the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. He said the combination had "a real chance to become one of the biggest modifiers of conditions in medical history."
The country's main infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, ignored the claim, saying the therapy must be tested to ensure its safety and efficacy.
"Chloroquine, a malaria drug, should not be digested to treat or prevent this virus," Banner Health said in a statement on Monday (3/23/2020).
The corona virus, which causes the highly contagious COVID-19 respiratory disease, appeared in December in Wuhan, China, and has spread throughout the world.
There are currently no approved vaccines or treatments for this disease, but researchers are studying existing treatment methods and conducting experiments. At present, most patients can only receive supportive care.
"Given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we understand that people are trying to find new ways to prevent or treat this virus, but the way is not by self-treatment," said Dr. Daniel Brooks, Director of the Drug and Poison Information Center at Banner Health Hospital.
Brooks urged the medical community not to prescribe the drug chloroquine to patients not treated in hospitals.
"The last thing we want right now is that our emergency department is flooded with patients who believe they found vague and risky solutions that could potentially endanger their health."