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Man dies after taking a chemical to prevent COVID-19

Health officials are warning adults not to self-diagnose and treat COVID-19 following the death of a Pima County man who ingested chloroquine phosphate, a chemical used to clean fish tanks. Adobe stock photo

Health officials are warning adults not to self-diagnose and treat COVID-19 following the death of a Pima County man who ingested chloroquine phosphate, a chemical used to clean fish tanks. Adobe stock photo

Health officials are warning adults not to self-diagnose and treat COVID-19 following the death of a Pima County man who ingested chloroquine phosphate, a chemical used to clean fish tanks.

The man’s wife told 12News in Phoenix that they both became seriously ill 20 minutes after ingesting the chemical and were rushed to the hospital, where her husband died soon after.

The wife told the station the couple heard President Donald Trump discuss a possible cure before ingesting the chemical.

At a White House briefing last week, the president mentioned the malaria medicine chloroquine as a possible treatment for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The medicine is being tested in China and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to test it in his state.

The Food and Drug Administration on March 19 warned against the use of the drug, saying it is not approved for use against COVID-19 and its efficacy is being tested.

“Given the uncertainty around COVID-19, we understand that people are trying to find new ways to prevent or treat this virus, but self-medicating is not the way to do so,” Dr. Daniel Brooks, Banner Poison and Drug Information Center medical director, said in a press release. “The last thing that we want right now is to inundate our emergency departments with patients who believe they found a vague and risky solution that could potentially jeopardize their health.”

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