This is a tale of two plagues – malaria and COVID-19, and how they seem related. It begins with this current advice from U.S. health experts:
Both adults and children should take one dose of chloroquine per week starting at least 1 week before traveling to the area (Africa) where malaria transmission occurs. They should take one dose per week while there, and for 4 consecutive weeks after leaving. The weekly dosage for adults is 300mg base (500mg salt). – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Without a preventative treatment, malaria is deadly – more than 405,000 deaths annually – and Africa is where most of those fatalities occur. If you visit that continent the Center scientists say you should take an anti-malarial drug, and they recommends hydroxychloroquine (HCL) or chloroquine. The CDC page explains:
HCL helps the body fight off blood-stage parasites and is used for prevention and treatment of malaria. Ivermectin is another effective anti-malarial that is widely distributed free in Africa to protect and cure the disease.
On the other hand, the Food and Drug Administration has revoked its emergency use of HCL, claiming it could be dangerous to some patients.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revoked the emergency use authorization (EUA) that allowed for chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate donated to the Strategic National Stockpile to be used to treat certain hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
In short, HCL is okay if you’re going to Africa to prevent or cure malaria, but too dangerous to use against COVID-19.
HCL (and other anti-parasitic drugs) are widely used in nations with high malaria death rates. Could there be a connection between taking anti-parasitic drugs and a reduction in COVID-19 death rates? Or, is it just pure coincidence?
Judge for yourself. The following table lists the nations in Africa by highest number of malaria cases and compares that to their death rate by COVD-19:
|COVID-19 Deaths per Million|
|Total Malaria Active Cases||COVID-19 Deaths|
|C. African Republic||4,422,397||175,210||62||14.0|
Africa has twice the population of the United States and has suffered only 6,257 deaths, compared to our total 192,293. You are 63 times as likely to have died from COVID-19 in the U.S., compared to the continent of Africa’s average rate, and 195 times as likely if you lived in New Jersey.
Even Alaska – the safest COVID-19 state – has a death rate 6 times the African average.
Since any advice – true or not – on COVID-19 treatments will cause a message or post to be removed from Twitter and Facebook (where this post also appears), the answer to that vital question of “why” is entirely left to you.
What follows is the breakdown of COVID-19 deaths per million state-by-state, compared to Africa:
|Population in millions||Covid-19 Deaths||Covid deaths per Million|
Good news is that yesterday marked the lowest death total from the virus since March – just 286 in the United States.
Bad news is that we must have been doing something wrong in this battle against COVID-19, because the U.S. has a higher death rate per million than 204 other nations. Only 11 countries have fared worse – Italy, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, United Kingdom, Spain, Andorra, Belgium, Peru and San Marino.