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Form Of Chloroquine Fine For Fish, Not As COVID-19 Treatment

Brian Bull

Fears over possible coronavirus infection have driven some people to desperate and unsafe practices.

Pet shop and aquatic supply stores report customers inquiring about chloroquine phosphate, after President Trump suggested the anti-malaria drug cholorquine could be used to treat COVID-19. 

Credit The White House / Flickr.com
President Trump, at a recent coronavirus briefing. Criticism has followed some of his remarks suggesting chloroquine's potential for treating COVID-19.

“That is definitely a terrible idea," says Terry Squires, of Portland's Seahorse Aquarium and Supply.

"Chloroquine phosphate is a chemical or compound that’s been used in the aquarium trade since the 1980s, we kinda use it for common fish diseases like ich, which is a protozoan disease, as well as for algae outbreaks, in affected tanks.

"It’s a pretty serious compound, very powerful. This is a compound that should not be ingested for human consumption.”

In Arizona, an elderly man died and his wife ended up in intensive care after ingesting chloroquine phosphate.  

Federal health officials say more research needs to be done to assess chloroquine’s possible use in this pandemic.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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