Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Understanding why so many people believe BS

This John Oliver piece explains it.


A malaria drug did Covid-19 patients no good

There’s bad news from an analysis of coronavirus patients at Veterans Health Administration hospitals who were given hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug widely promoted (including by President Trump) as a potential treatment for Covid-19.

In fact, researchers found that death rates were higher for patients who got the drug, either alone or in combination with an antibiotic, than among those receiving standard care.

Hydroxychloroquine has not been shown to have antiviral effects in humans, though a laboratory study suggested that it might. There has been speculation that the drug might make patients’ symptoms less severe if they experience a “cytokine storm” — a harmful overreaction by the body’s immune system.

Researchers analyzed the medical records of 368 men with confirmed coronavirus infections treated at the hospitals. About 28 percent of those who received hydroxychloroquine died, they found, compared with 11 percent of those who did not receive it. They also found that the drug had made no difference in whether patients wound up needing ventilators.

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