Doctors at Henry Ford Health testing to see if drug can prevent coronavirus (COVID-19)

Can hydroxychloroquine stop uninfected person from getting coronavirus?

DETROIT – The total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Michigan has risen over 10,000, but there’s new hope form doctors at Henry Ford Hospital.

UPDATE -- April 2, 2020: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 10,791; Death toll now at 417

The hope is coming in the form of a clinical trial for a drug that might have the chance to keep people from getting the coronavirus.

The announcement came Thursday from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and a group of Henry Ford doctors.

“They’re going to start enrolling volunteers,” Duggan said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re from Southgate, Birmingham, Grosse Pointe, Detroit. We’re looking for first responders and health care workers who, if this study works out, will save the lives of first responders around the world.

“We owe it to really define one and for all, does this regime work? So that we can protect the people who are putting themselves at risk.”

Dr. Frank McGeorge is providing some context to the major announcement.

He said the study is very specifically looking at whether hydroxychloroquine can be used to prevent a previously uninfected person from becoming infected.

Doctors are studying whether it can be used as prophylaxis, not treatment of an active infection.

To be included in the study, you’l have to have a blood test to prove you haven’t been infected yet. Then, you’ll be randomly assigned to get either a daily or weekly dose of the drug or a placebo.

Participants will be monitored at regular intervals for symptoms or infection, and for any side effects of the pills.

After eight weeks, participants will have another blood test to see if they were infected. That should demonstrate whether the medication makes a difference.

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