Hydroxychloroquine successful as a COVID-19 prophylaxis

A survey of the Italian Rheumetology Society of physicians has given insight into the potential prophylactic success of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) against COVID-19.

As Il Tempo reports:

Finally, further confirmation of this hypothesis is the data collected in the register of the SIR (Italian rheumatology society). To assess the possible correlations between chronic patients and Covid19, SIR interrogated 1,200 rheumatologists throughout Italy to collect statistics on infections. Out of an audience of 65,000 chronic patients (Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis), who systematically take Plaquenil / hydroxychloroquine, only 20 patients tested positive for the virus. Nobody died, nobody is in intensive care, according to the data collected so far.

To put that into perspective, that’s a 0.03 percent infection rate in a country that has seen a general infection rate of 10 times that (0.34 percent confirmed infected). The fact that none of the regular hydroxychloroquine users have been in intensive care for the disease and none have died is extremely telling.

Hydroxychloroquine got bad press when a Veteran’s Affairs study showed no positive effect from the drug on COVID-19 patients. But this study had several flaws.

In the study, HCQ was given only 31% with azithromycin, which has been known to be required for successful treatment, and it was only given to patients “at the highest risk,” which unnaturally inflated mortality in that cohort. One other curious thing, the study didn’t specify dose of HCQ given to patients. This has led the Director of the VA to reject the study as ‘misinformation’:

This was not a clinical trial. It was an analysis of retrospective data regarding hospitalized patients. The findings should not be viewed as definitive because the analysis did not adjust for patients’ clinical status. It has also yet to undergo peer review, which would assess the quality control measures needed for a suitable scientific publication.