A Man Positive for Coronavirus Says the Drug Used to Treat Malaria Saved His Life


  • One man from Florida claims that an anti-malaria drug helped him recover from COVID-19.
  • There are currently no approved treatments or preventive vaccines for the coronavirus pandemic
  • President Trump had instructed the FDA to fast-track the tests for these possible treatments for COVID-19.

The diagnosis from Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in South Florida for Rio Giardinieri, 52 years old, came back positive for coronavirus and pneumonia. From there, the patient was placed under the intensive care unit of the hospital where he was put in oxygen support.

Giardinieri says that he possibly contracted the virus during his recent visit to New York City for a conference call. He told Los Angeles’ Fox 11 he had encountered back pain, headaches, cough, and fatigue after contracting COVID-19.

The doctors told him after more than a week of treatments that there was nothing else that could be done.

“I was at the point where I was barely able to speak and breathing was very challenging,” Giardinieri said. “I really thought my end was there.”

Come Friday evening, he had arranged to say his goodbyes to his wife and three children.

It was then that a friend had sent him a recent article about a decades-long prescription drug called hydroxychloroquine that is used to treat malaria and auto-immune diseases like lupus. While this has not gained approval from all health officials, there are some researches from other parts of the world that report hydroxychloroquine as a promising treatment for COVID-19.

In the United States, the FDA has been fast-tracking the tests for hydroxychloroquine and another related drug, chloroquine, as a treatment for COVID-19 under the instructions of President Donald Trump.

He sought medical advice from an infectious disease doctor who at first advised against using the drug before the findings, but Giardinieri was persistent. He says, “at that point I really thought I was coming to the end because I couldn’t breathe anymore.”

In the end, the doctor had allowed him to take the drugs. Giardinier said that the first hour hooked to the IV with the medicine felt like his heart was beating out of his chest. Two hours later, he found himself unable to breathe.

Benadryl and some other drugs were then administered, and by the time he woke up at 4:45 AM, he felt “like nothing ever happened.” The doctors believe that these episodes were not a reaction to the medicine, but rather his body fighting off the virus, says Giardinieri.

Giardinieri said three doses of the medicines were given to him on Saturday. From then on, the fever had subsided, he can breathe again, and he is hoping to be discharged from the hospital in five days.

“To me, there was no doubt in mind that I wouldn’t make it until morning,” he said “So to me, the drug saved my life.”

Source: New York Post

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