COVID- 19 – What to think about chloroquine ? William Dab’s statement
#health and safety
Many wonder about the interest of chloroquine to cure Covid. Here is my statement.
Medical and scientific ethics main principle is to submit results before claiming victory. Currently, the only efficient and proven weapon is the strict hygiene policies respect. To prematurely and publicly announce a medicinal solution, not pairs evaluated, is irresponsible and can lead to people backing off with restrictions.
At the beginning of every epidemic, there is always a smart one with the solution. We’ve experienced that during the rise of aids epidemic. In vague circumstances, it’s normal to look for quick and easy solution. Scientists and doctors must not follow this path.
Chloroquine lead is interesting and can possibly come to a therapeutics solution. Chinese scientists showed an in vitro virucide activity but insist on the need to test this molecule on people. Which is not done already.
Moreover, if the medicine is efficient for human there will be other questions to consider before launching a mass treatment. Especially, to validate that chloroquine does not provoke a viral resistance. Yet, many monotherapies select quickly resistant virus. In the case of aids, I remember it needed 3 antivirals to control the disease.
To conclude, unlike what the USA president told, FDA did not authorize chloroquine as a Covid treatment.
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William Dab is a Professor and Health and Safety Chair at Cnam – France, where he trains specialists in occupational health and environmental risks, notably through an engineering course in risk management. He is a doctor specialised in epidemiology. His career has been entirely devoted to health and safety, whether it be developing tools for risk assessment, monitoring and management. As a former Director-General of Health, he was a member of the WHO Executive Committee and Chairman of the European Environment and Health Committee for the WHO European Region. He has also published a number of books related to health and safety.