The anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and a throat spray have been found to reduce risk for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infection among healthy individuals.
The study showed that povidone-iodine throat spray used three times a day and the oral drug hydroxychloroquine taken once daily reduced by over 20 percent the chances of getting infected by Sars-CoV-2 or the virus causing Covid-19.
This local study covered more than 3,000 healthy young migrant workers quarantined in Tuas South Dormitory in Singapore in May last year.
Conducting the study was a team of clinician-scientists from the National University Health System (NUHS) led by Associate Professor Raymond Seet, who is a senior consultant in the division of neurology at the department of medicine in National University Hospital (NUH). Also included in the conduct of the study were infectious diseases experts Professor Paul Tambyah and Associate Professor Alex Cook, Dr. Amy Quek and Associate Professor Mikael Hartman.
“At the start of the outbreak, the numbers of dorm infections were simply overwhelming. That was when we got together with Prof Tambyah and Prof Cook to come up with the idea of running a study, all with the overarching aim to help ease the burden on our healthcare system,” Seet said.
Most of the dormitory’s residents were from India and Bangladesh.The throat spray can be bought over the pharmacy counters but hydroxychloroquine requires a doctor’s prescription. SOVEREIGNPH