A comprehensive study published yesterday in the medical journal The Lancet found that seriously ill Covid-19 patients who were treated with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine were more likely to die or develop irregular heart rhythms.
“Our data has very convincingly shown that across the world in a real-world population that this drug combination, whichever way you slice it or dice it, does not show any evidence of benefit, and in fact is immutably showing a signal of grave harm,” said Dr. Mandeep Mehra, the study’s lead author.
It’s not the first study to highlight the potentially harmful effects of the medication, but it is by far the largest. It analysed data from more than 96,000 patients across six continents.
The World Health Organization has also warned against using hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19. But Trump does have one high-profile ally in promoting it: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED.
Q. How can someone spread coronavirus when asymptomatic? If they’re not sneezing or coughing, how can they infect others?
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
Latin America: the new hot spot
For several days, Latin America has topped the United States and Europe in new recorded coronavirus cases.
80 million babies at risk
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted immunization programs in at least 68 countries.
Apples and oranges
Experts say this is unhelpful and potentially misleading, because antibody tests aren’t used to diagnose current infections or determine whether someone is potentially contagious. Instead, they indicate whether someone has been exposed to the virus in the past.
Combining the figures increases the number of conducted tests, but it can also skew a key indicator of how the pandemic is progressing: the percentage of tests that come back positive.
Fighting misinformation is just as important as fighting the virus itself, says Dr. Mike Ryan of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program. Ryan says the WHO has invested heavily in myth-busting videos, infographics and cartoons.
Africa tops 100,000 cases
ON OUR RADAR
- Hertz filed for bankruptcy Friday night, the latest victim of the economic downturn sparked by the pandemic. The car rental company has operated since 1918.
- Boris Johnson is under pressure to sack his aide Dominic Cummings after he and his wife reportedly breached lockdown measures by traveling across England to stay with his parents while showing symptoms of coronavirus. The British Prime Minister’s office denies that Cummings breached coronavirus guidelines.
- A study of 16 pregnant women who tested positive for Covid-19 found evidence of injury to the placenta, the organ that acts as the gut, kidneys, liver and lungs for a fetus during pregnancy.
- China has reported no new symptomatic Covid-19 cases for the first time since the pandemic started.
- Starting June 8, travelers arriving in the UK will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. The CEO of Europe’s largest airline has slammed the plan as “idiotic and unimplementable.”
- Golf titans Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will partner with NFL superstars Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in a charity golf match to raise money to fight the coronavirus.
- Facebook, Twitter and other companies plan to make working from home the new normal. (As in forever.)
- A hairstylist with coronavirus worked for eight days this month while symptomatic, exposing as many as 91 customers and coworkers in Missouri, US health officials said.