The COVID-19 pandemic, which began in March, has caused more than 8 million people worldwide to become infected with the virus and almost 450,000 deaths. While we wait for a vaccine, researchers around the world are also looking for an effective therapy for people who become infected. Early on in the pandemic there was hope that a drug commonly used to treat malaria might be helpful as a therapy. Now with new research, it appears that both hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine (antimalarial drugs) are unlikely to be effective at treating COVID-19. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has now announced that any benefits of these drugs do not outweigh their potential risks, including serious effects on the heart. So far, only one drug (remdesivir) has shown any benefit in the fight against COVID-19. A vaccine against the virus is needed urgently.
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