The Hydroxychloroquine Controversy: Half 1
COVID-19 has permeated our lives in just about every way. It’s the hot topic that everyone is rightly obsessed with. We keep hearing from government agencies and public health officials that there is no return to normal until workable solutions like vaccines and antivirals are in place. At least that’s what we’re told.
The race for a COVID-19 vaccine is merciless and highly controversial. The race also leaves many people skeptical about the effectiveness and safety of the jab. The unusually rapid process of developing a vaccine for the novel coronavirus justifies public concern, which is reflected in the expected low vaccine intake.
Previous studies to develop a SARS vaccine against SARS-CoV were unsuccessful. The researchers discovered the potential for serious pulmonary immunopathology in vaccinated subjects after exposure to the virus after vaccination.The study concluded that “Caution is advised when using a SARS-CoV vaccine in humans.”
With nearly 200 coronavirus vaccines in the works now, many are concerned about the possibility of proposed vaccine mandates or regulatory action. Opinions from the legal community also raised the question possible employment restrictions for those who refuse to take the push.
Hopes have been placed on the development of successful antiviral therapeutics or the possibility of reusing existing drugs for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 symptoms. Some argue that the need for a vaccine would automatically be nullified.
A game of numbers
It’s no secret that the The COVID-19 death statistics have increased dramatically by filling in the data according to the CDC death certificate Guidelines. The guidelines call for all causes of death to be added as long as there is either a positive test or a strong indicator to justify the suspicion.
In simple words, whether you are dying from COVID-19 or the virus that causes COVID-19 are equally acceptable to call it a count. One of the main factors contributing to wrong case counting is the issue of COVID-19 testing. The definition of a “case” remains unclear and appears to be subject to a wide range of discretion. The tests show a shockingly high false positive rate, almost 50 percent. and provide results that are practically meaningless since the tests are not pathogen specific.
The problem with testing
According to one of the PCR test monographs found on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website, “Positive results do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses.” So far there is no specific test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The lack of a particular test makes testing practice not only pointless, but dangerously misleading.
The test is used as the only diagnostic tool and in asymptomatic individuals. The importance of the lack of clinical picture and presentation of symptoms is not taken into account. Tests can detect unspecific virus residues and fragments of any kind of pathogen. Viral fragments can be present in the body as artifacts of a disease process. Unfortunately, this alone does not prove the presence of COVID-19 disease.
One of the main limitations of PCR testing is its inability to measure active virus replication. Measuring active viral replication is key to the appearance of disease symptoms. The PCR tests cannot determine a person’s infection status. However, testing has been used as the sole driver of decision making and COVID-19 restriction measures.
The hydroxychloroquine “Cure”: Another smoke screen
In the past few months, all eyes have been on an old anti-malarial drug that is heavily touted as a COVID-19 cure. A video was recently posted with a group of doctors promoting hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for COVID-19. It was then quickly removed from social media platforms. The video went viral and became a key discussion point about the drug’s use as a coronavirus cure. HCQ became very controversial and remained a hot topic for debate among doctors and policy makers.
Some argue that pediatrician Stella Immanuel’s claim of curing over 300 COVID-19 patients with hydroxychloroquine is not true. Research shows this Children are practically unaffected by COVID-19, and do not represent the typical patient base. T.The disease is more likely to affect older people and people with comorbidities.
This raises several questions:
- How old is the patient cohort Dr. Immanuel treated with hydroxychloroquine?
- What methods and criteria were used in the differential diagnosis of real COVID-19 cases compared to other possible respiratory diseases with similar symptoms?
- If hydroxychloroquine was used in the onset of COVID-19-like illness, what approach was used to confirm successful case outcomes due to the drug’s action rather than the mild nature of the disease?
- Is it possible that a full recovery would have occurred had these mild cases gone untreated?
HCQ: More research needed
Claiming a cure for any type of disease is a powerful proposition that requires compelling evidence and evidence. Hydroxychloroquine is a potent and potentially toxic drug with a comprehensive list of contraindications and warnings about side effects. There are a growing number of people raising concerns about the premature hype of this drug as a COVID-19 therapeutic.
Several angles that need to be carefully considered and examined during the course of treatment:
- What we know about the effects of a drug.
- What we know about the disease we want to use it for.
- Our understanding of each individual case: medical history, comorbidities, medication and possible contraindications.
- The possible effects as a result of using the drug in the required dose and repetition frequency. Both positive and negative effects must be known.
An honest scientific investigation must be conducted if we are to find out the potential and / or potential dangers of adopting HCQ as a COVID-19 therapeutic.
Is Zinc the Missing Link?
A recent observational study claims the use of HCQ, Z-Pack (azithromycin), and zinc is a successful therapeutic protocol in treating COVID19 patients. The study compared hospital outcomes in patients who received HCQ, azithromycin, and zinc with HCQ and azithromycin alone.
The results of the study showed that zinc sulfate increased the frequency of discharges from hospitals. A significant decrease in the need for ventilation was also noted. Patients who were never admitted to the ICU had lower ICU admission and mortality or hospice transfers.
This study provides the first in vivo evidence that zinc sulfate in combination with HCQ may be a potential therapeutic protocol for COVID-19. The key point of this study that influenced the results was the addition of zinc sulfate. It could be argued that the zinc compound and not HCQ or Z-pack was the main therapeutic ingredient.
Zinc has known antiviral properties and has been tested in vitro with positive results to attenuate SARS-CoV-2 virus replication. Previous studies suggest that adding zinc to the treatment regimen may shorten the duration of cold symptoms. It is plausible that zinc does all the work and HCQ just acts as an enhancer that allows zinc to be absorbed into cells more effectively.
Increasing the intracellular concentrations of zinc with zinc ionophores such as hydroxychloroquine has been shown to be effective in inhibiting viral replication of a wide variety of RNA viruses, including SARS coronavirus.
One size doesn’t fit all
The few HCQ studies carried out so far have numerous limitations. One limitation that will be important in a clinical setting is the exclusion of participants with cardiovascular disease due to obvious contraindications.
HCQ is known to cause QT prolongation, which can be dangerous and even fatal for heart patients. This creates a practical limitation on the use of HCQ as a ubiquitous COVID-19 treatment. A significant group of the population may not be eligible to receive the drug because of underlying heart disease. Ironically, these are also the patients who fall into the high risk group of developing the disease and possibly developing severe to severe symptoms at all.
Hydroxychloroquine appears to be an effective ionophore Facilitating the transport of zinc across lipid cell membranes. This is especially important when zinc is released to lung cells. Unfortunately, there is a cost associated with potentially serious side effects caused by the toxic drug.
[Editor’s Notes: In Part II we’ll discuss HCQ contraindications and natural alternatives.]
Zara is a certified homeopath with a special interest in women’s health, organ therapy and the natural way to deal with cancer. Zara holds B.Sc. in geology and received formal training in chemistry and biology. In her spare time she is a singer and writer.
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