This Coronavirus Patient Dodged A Bullet With Hydroxychloroquine. Is She A Harbinger Or Outlier?
Novins had been a pneumonia patient for three days, treated mainly with antibiotics. But within an hour, a new drug was added to her med list: hydroxychloroquine, a decades-old malaria-turned-autoimmune drug, also called by its brand name Plaquenil. President Trump is touting the drug, some say overselling it, as the possible answer to the COVID-19 crisis.
Novins’ responded to the treatment. She was better, though surely not well, the next day.
“The fever,” which was still spiking when she was on other meds, “is now gone, which is fantastic,” she said on Saturday March 21, coughing at times but able to speak.
A 53-year-old nurse who described herself as a nonsmoker with no medical issues, Novins spoke to me from the hospital that had cared for some of the seven members of a family ravaged by COVID; two adult brothers, a sister and their mother died from the infection.
“The doctor insisted the pharmacy get it to me the minute we got the positive,” she said of hydroxychloroquine. “It seemed like their go-to right away.”