COVID 19 UPDATE
- Internationally – total confirmed cases 4,892,550. Deaths 322,821 Gives a death rate of 6.59%. That is 66 people out of 1000 confirmed cases died with this virus.
- United States – total cases 1,527,355 Deaths 91,845 Gives a death rate of 6.01%. That is 60 out of 1000 confirmed cases died with this virus.
- North Carolina – total cases 19,700 Death 691. Gives a death rate of 3.51%. That is 35.1 out of 1000 confirmed cases died with this virus. 585 hospitalizations.
- Lenoir – total cases 160 death 5
- Jones – total cases 22 death 2
- Greene – total cases 50 death 2
- Pitt – total cases 221 death 2
- Onslow – total cases 80 death 2
- Beaufort– total cases 30 death 0
- Bertie – total cases 95 death 3
- Craven – total cases 133 death 4
- Carteret – total cases 35 death 3
- Wayne – total cases 879 death 16
- Duplin – total cases 462 death 12
- Nash – 156 death 3
- Wilson – 251 death 9
Now for some education:
Now that hydroxychloroquine is back in the news again, I am compelled to report studies that have been reported in the British medical journal and the New England journal of medicine.
Study number 1 – 150 Chinese patients with COVID 19 with mild to moderate or severe symptoms were divided randomly divided into two groups group A – standard treatment. Group B – standard treatment with hydroxychloroquine. There was no difference in the time it took for the body to eliminate the virus or clinical improvement. Essentially the drug did not do anything.
Study number 2 – 181 French patients with severe COVID 19. 84 patients were treated with hydroxychloroquine + standard therapy versus 89 patients were treated with standard therapy alone. There was no difference.
Study number 3 – 1446 patients with COVID 19in New York who were compared according to use of hydroxychloroquine did not show any difference.
Study number 4 – 368 patients divided according to hydroxychloroquine use, hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin use and standard therapy group did not show any difference.
The original recommendation for hydroxychloroquine was based on 20 patients. This is what happens when you base recommendations on small studies. Reading the above evidence you might think hydroxychloroquine is worthless in treating COVID 19. No, that is not what you should get out of this. What you should get out of this is that with the limited evidence we have hydroxychloroquine does not show any benefit and does show harm but large scale trial results need to be resulted before we throw the drug out completely.
Hospitals and physicians have stopped prescribing this drug for COVID 19 and they should never have prescribed it in the first place.
The Remdesivir study is yet to be published. The vaccine trial has also not been published. I hope they work but I am skeptical of small studies.
Dr. Pradeep Arumugham is a Greenville, N.C., cardiologist and East Carolina University faculty member. His updates are used with permission.