Coronavirus cure: Elon Musk sparks hope of COVID-19 breakthrough – ‘Worth considering’

The SpaceX founder, 48, who recently told his employees they are more likely to die in a car crash than from coronavirus, tweeted about a possible COVID-19 breakthrough. Elon Musk took to Twitter to share a study published on the effectiveness of chloroquine as a “coronavirus treatment”.

At the time of writing, the tweet sparked a frenzy of comments and retweets with more than 8,100 people liking the message.

Mr Musk said: “Maybe worth considering chloroquine for C19”

The tweet also included a link to the study, penned by Dr Thomas R. Broker from the Stanford University School of Medicine and colleagues.

Published on March 13 this year, the study examines guidelines issued by China and South Korea on the effectiveness of chloroquine as an antiviral remedy.

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Chloroquine is a medicine used to prevent and treat malaria in those parts of the world where the mosquito-carried disease is a danger to life.

The drug has been in use around the globe since 1945.

A summary of the study reads: “Recent guidelines from South Korea and China report that chloroquine is an effective antiviral therapeutic treatment against Coronavirus Disease 2019.

“Use of chloroquine (tablets) is showing favourable outcomes in humans infected with Coronavirus including faster time to recovery and shorter hospital stay.

“US CDC research shows that chloroquine also has strong potential as a prophylactic (preventative) measure against coronavirus in the lab, while we wait for a vaccine to be developed.

“Chloroquine is an inexpensive, globally available drug that has been in widespread human use since 1945 against malaria, autoimmune and various other conditions.”

Maybe worth considering chloroquine for C19

Elon Musk on Twitter

There is, however, no known cure for the coronavirus that has proven effective as of yet.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a novel strain of the coronavirus family, dubbed SARS-CoV-2.

The virus first appeared in China last November when a person contracted the pathogen from an unknown source.

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Some health experts believe the novel coronavirus was carried by animals before it jumped onto humans.

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they infect both humans and animals.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include continuous dry cough, fever and fatigue.

The early onset of symptoms can be mistaken for the flu or common cold.

At the time of writing, more than 181,000 people have contracted the virus and more than 7,000 have died.

According to the study shared by Mr Musk, the Chinese government has prioritised in early February the production of “the active pharmaceutical ingredients chloroquine phosphate”.

However, the study noted serious side effects to the use of chloroquine as a treatment.

The study reads: “One often cited side effect is chloroquine retinopathy, which can result in permanent vision loss after high cumulative doses of chloroquine.

“However, retinal damage is extremely rare in patients with a total dosage under 400g (dosage level only reached after years of treatment).”

The study also noted treating COVID-19 carries the risk of inducing a viral mutation that “can either be beneficial or harmful to humans”.

For the time being, the World Health Organization (WHO) said hospitals can only treat the symptoms of COVID-19 and not the source of infection.

Mr Musk has recently penned an email to his SpaceX employees, in which he discussed the danger of COVID-19.

According to BuzzFeed News, the email said: “As a basis for comparison, the risk of death from C19 is *vastly* less than the risk of death from driving your car home.

“There are about 36 thousand automotive deaths per deaths [sic], as compared to 36 so far this year for C19.”

Mr Musk also took to Twitter on March 6 to say: “The coronavirus panic is dumb”

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