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July 16, 2020, 3:25 p.m. EDT

Study: Hydroxychloroquine fails to show benefit in mild coronavirus cases

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By Jaimy Lee

A clinical trial testing hydroxychloroquine in 491 people with mild cases of COVID-19 found that the antimalarial drug did not decrease the severity of symptoms when compared to placebo. The randomized, placebo-controlled study , conducted by the University of Minnesota Medical School, was published Thursday in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The trial enrolled people within the first four days of showing symptoms of an infection. The study's authors said there was one limitation to the research; only about 60% of the participants were tested for COVID-19 due to "severe U.S. testing shortages" when the trial took place. The remaining participants had symptoms as well as reported exposure to someone who had tested positive for the virus. "There is no convincing evidence that hydroxychloroquine can either prevent COVID-19 after exposure or reduce illness severity after developing early symptoms," Dr. Caleb Skipper, lead author on the study. paper and infectious diseases fellow studying under Boulware. There is a growing body of research that indicates hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment for COVID-19 patients.

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