In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, before we had vaccines, everyone was searching for a treatment that could prevent this disease. An antimalarial drug, hydroxychloroquine,  got a great deal of attention as a treatment that could prevent the acquisition and transmission of COVID-19. Its use as treatment has been debunked, but I recently heard a physician repeat the false claim that this drug was effective in preventing the disease. 

 This physician had been traveling (at a time when air travel was being discouraged and masking and social distancing were still being debated) and took hydroxychloroquine. In the world of science and fact, this claim of effectiveness is nothing less than ridiculous. But you do not need to take my word for this.  Take the word of the many scientists and researchers who looked at this claim and recently published their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine. The publication is well respected in the medical community and is known for its rigorous standards for truth and accuracy in any scientific article it publishes. 

 No evidence has been found that hydroxychloroquine has any effect on the prevention of transmission of COVID-19. Patients exposed to COVID-19 acquired the disease equally, whether they took hydroxychloroquine or not. The only difference between the groups was that the patients taking the drug had more gastrointestinal side effects. Furthermore, there was no evidence to corroborate previous claims of cardiac side effects using the  drug. 

 Let’s end this conversation once and for all!