Hospital: Arizona man dies after self-medicating to fend off COVID-19

Nation/World
This transmission electron microscope image shows the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S. (NIAID-RML)

This transmission electron microscope image shows the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S. (NIAID-RML)

An Arizona man has died and his wife is in critical condition after the couple took an additive used to clean fish tanks.

Banner Health says the couple in their 60s took chloroquine phosphate and got sick within 30 minutes.

Last week, Trump misstated that the malaria medication chloroquine was a known treatment for COVID-19. Even after the FDA chief clarified that the drug still needs to be tested, Trump overstated the drug’s potential upside in containing the virus.

Dr. Daniel Brooks, medical director of Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, says the last thing health officials want is for emergency rooms to be swamped by patients who believe they found a vague and risky solution that could potentially jeopardize their health.

Correction: The original Associated Press article on this story noted the couple took chloroquine — implying they took a prescribed drug. According to the treating hospital, the couple took chloroquine phosphate which can be purchased at a pet store.

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