Andrey (azangru) wrote,

I remember being mystified by what prompted doctors to try chloroquine as treatment for the new coronavirus infection in the first place. Chloroquine, first and foremost, is an antimalarial drug, albeit with a scope that has since expanded beyond malaria; so how did it occur to anyone to even consider it as a treatment for covid.

One convincing answer to this particular question is that chloroquine was said to be effective against the first SARS-CoV, the one that caused the first SARS outbreak. There's a paper published in 2005 that claims that chloroquine has an inhibitory effect against the SARS-CoV virus; and since the SARS-CoV-2 was thought to be closely related to SARS-CoV, it was natural to assume that a drug thought to be effective against one virus would also work against the other.

Of course I don't know how valid those early claims were that chloroquine works against SARS-CoV in the first place. There weren't enough cases to run proper clinical trials.

Now the mystery shifts 15 years back — how did it occur to someone to test chloroquine against SARS-CoV back in early 2000s.

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