Woman who took hydroxychloroquine for 19 years to treat lupus still contracts coronavirus

A Wisconsin woman who has been taking hydroxychloroquine for 19 years to treat lupus says she still contracted coronavirus despite claims the drug could help prevent infection.

Kim, who did not want to give her full name or show her face, said she was shocked to learn she tested positive for COVID-19 last month.

The Oconomowoc woman told WISN 12 News she had only left her home to go to the grocery store and had believed she was safe after hearing President Trump say hydroxychloroquine could protect people from the virus. 

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Kim, who did not want to give her full name or show her face, said she was shocked to learn she tested positive for coronavirus after taking hydroxychloroquine for 19 years

Kim, who did not want to give her full name or show her face, said she was shocked to learn she tested positive for coronavirus after taking hydroxychloroquine for 19 years

Kim, who did not want to give her full name or show her face, said she was shocked to learn she tested positive for coronavirus after taking hydroxychloroquine for 19 years 

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Despite being on the drug for nearly two decades and taking safety and health precautions, Kim began showing symptoms in mid-April, developing a cough and high fever.

Her condition later worsened to the point where she could no longer breathe and she had to go to the emergency room at Aurora Medical Center where she was told she had COVID-19.  

‘When they gave the diagnosis, I felt like it was a death sentence,’ she told the news station. 

‘I’m like, “How can I be sick? How? I’m on the hydroxychloroquine.”

‘They were like, “Well, nobody ever said that was the cure or that was going to keep you safe”, and it definitely did not.’

Hydroxychloroquine was originally developed to treat malaria but is now used in the treatment of lupus and arthritis. 

The Wisconsin woman, who suffers from lupus, believed she was safe after President Trump claimed the anti-malarial drug (pictured) could help prevent the virus

The Wisconsin woman, who suffers from lupus, believed she was safe after President Trump claimed the anti-malarial drug (pictured) could help prevent the virus

The Wisconsin woman, who suffers from lupus, believed she was safe after President Trump claimed the anti-malarial drug (pictured) could help prevent the virus 

On Monday, Trump revealed he has been taking the drug  for a 'week and half now'

On Monday, Trump revealed he has been taking the drug  for a 'week and half now'

On Monday, Trump revealed he has been taking the drug  for a ‘week and half now’

The drug is being tested in trials around the world as a potential treatment for people with severe COVID-19, but no evidence currently exists to show it can prevent patients being struck down with the disease.  

President Trump, however, has repeatedly promoted the drug as a prophylactic, even admitting on Monday he has been taking it for a ‘week and half now.’

Kim revealed she spent seven days in the hospital where she was on oxygen and received plasma, but is now recovering at home.  

She issued a stark warning to people hoping to take the drug as a preventative measure saying hydroxychloroquine will not do anything to protect you from the virus. 

‘You’re not safe taking that medication at all. [Hydroxychloroquine] is not going to prevent anything. You can still get coronavirus,’ she said. 

‘It kind of makes me mad that [Trump] thinks it’s going to do that and is telling the whole world it’s going to do that.’ 

Over the last several weeks, politicians and doctors have been sparring over whether or not to use hydroxychloroquine against the novel coronavirus.

Some say the drug is a ‘game-changer’ while others argue that the evidence is too thin to recommend it now.

Theories that hydroxychloroquine might combat the dangerous effects of coronavirus rely on the same effect it has for lupus sufferers: modulating the immune system.

Lupus is an autoimmune conditioning, meaning the immune systems of those with the disease attack the healthy body, like misguided missiles. 

Hydroxychloroquine is an immune modulator, one of a group of drugs that can turn the immune system on, ramp it up, or act like a reset, making it behave normally. 

For lupus patients, it’s one of the safest drugs to make the body stop attacking itself

HOW HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE TREATS LUPUS BUT DOES NOT RAISE INFECTION RISKS

Originally developed to treat malaria, hydroxychloroquine was later approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat lupus as well. 

It was given emergency use authorization as an experimental treatment for coronavirus by the agency in April, after President Trump expressed optimism that it could help treat the infection. 

Theories that hydroxychloroquine might combat the dangerous effects of coronavirus rely on the same effect it has for lupus sufferers: modulating the immune system.

Lupus is an autoimmune conditioning, meaning the immune systems of those with the disease attack the healthy body, like misguided missiles. 

Hydroxychloroquine is an immune modulator, one of a group of drugs that can turn the immune system on, ramp it up, or act like a reset, making it behave normally. 

For lupus patients, it’s one of the safest drugs to make the body stop attacking itself. 

Coronavirus patients who become severely ill also show signs of an over-active immune system, in the form of a ‘cytokine storm’ that drives inflammation out of control, overwhelming their bodies. 

Often, it’s this immune response that ultimately kills COVID-19 patients. 

The hope has been that hydroxychloroquine could help quiet the cytokine storm. 

One of the reasons that hydroxychloroquine is a preferable to many other lupus drugs is that it is not an immune suppressant, or drug that lowers the body’s immune system to stop it from attacking itself. 

Hydroxychloroquine does not significantly raise risks of infections like coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University

It does have serious side effects, however. It can cause heart arrythmias, which may be particularly dangerous for coronavirus patients, because evidence now suggests the virus attacks the heart and blood vessels. 

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