Does Italy Have More COVID19 Deaths Than South Korea Because They’re Not Prescribing Chloroquine? (Medium)

Adrian Bye – Mar 16 2020

As of March 15¹, Korea has 8162 infections, but only 75 deaths, a death rate of 0.91%. By comparison, Italy has 24,747 infections and 1809 deaths, a death rate of 7.3%.

The WHO is distributing inadequate Coronavirus treatment guidelines for worldwide use, which Italy is following.

The Italian government health website (archive) updated on March 4 states:

There is no specific treatment for the disease caused by a new coronavirus.. Treatment is based on the patient’s symptoms and supportive care can be very effective. Specific therapies and vaccines are being studied.

However, both Korea and China have been treating infections with drugs known as Chloroquine (long known to treat malaria) or Kaletra (used for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, contains lopinavir/ritonavir ).

The Korean guidelines were published on February 12, 2020. The Chinese have repeatedly told us they are using both these drugs. At this point, Chinese sources have made it clear they believe this situation is under control. Informally 5 of my Chinese friends have confirmed this is true, only that non Chinese are still restricted from moving around in China.

Xi Jinping visits Wuhan as China declares success in fight against coronavirus. China’s Communist Party signaled confidence in its fight against the coronavirus on Tuesday when the party’s general…www.latimes.com

The New York Times ran a major story of two 29 year old female Wuhan medical professionals, one who died, and one who lived. The one who lived was treated with Kaletra. The one who died was not treated with either chloroquine or Kaletra.

Two Women Fell Sick From the Coronavirus. One Survived. The young mothers didn’t tell their children they had the coronavirus. Mama was working hard, they said, to save sick…www.nytimes.com

The New York Post has a similar story of a New Jersey healthcare worker who was on the verge of dying. He was only saved because Chinese family members reached out to doctors in Wuhan who told them to begin immediate treatment with either chloroquine or Kaletra.

He said “Fortunately I have the resources and knowledge about it. I would be dead and gone already. Most medical providers here don’t know about it. Medical providers need to communicate with Chinese medical teams.”

New Jersey patient James Cai recovering from coronavirus. The New Jersey health care worker who was the state’s first coronavirus case says he’s on the mend – adding that he…nypost.com

In the (now removed / archive) WHO public guidelines for coronavirus treatment published 13 March 2020, there is no mention of either chloroquine or Kaletra.

Instead the WHO guidelines state:

“There is no current evidence to recommend any specific anti-COVID-19 treatment for patients with confirmed COVID-19”

We find the same from the CDC in the USA. In the official CDC clinical guidance (archive) published on March 7, 2020 Chloroquine is only mentioned in an unrelated footnote and Kaletra is not mentioned at all. The CDC states:

“There are currently no antiviral drugs licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat patients with COVID-19.”

The Australian government has 95 documents about coronavirus on its website, however there is no information about hospital treatment (archive). A link inside one of its PDF guidelines (archive) is supposed to take us to advice on hospital care of patients but redirects to a PDF containing recommendations for protective equipment for hospital workers (archive). It includes no treatment information.

Since three major countries (Italy, USA, Australia) appear to be following incorrect WHO treatment guidelines, it likely means that this is a problem in most other countries as well.

Why aren’t our usual medical channels getting this information themselves?

This is a problem from the top down. Western healthcare has already become very complex and government employees are risk averse. They are not used to situations where critical drug treatments need to be made available within a few weeks. China made it a national priority to solve the problem, so normal drug market approvals were waived. WHO was also very delayed² in declaring a pandemic. WHO also didn’t do a good job on the ebola outbreak.

WHO Acknowledges Failings of Ebola Response. Leadership at the World Health Organization has admitted to being “ill prepared” to handle the Ebola outbreak in a…time.com

In addition, WHO has been reported to spend³ more than $200M/year on travel expenses, more than it spends on fighting many major problems.

If Italy had the same treatment success rate as Korea, with only 0.91% of people dying instead of 7.3%, then there would be 227 deaths in Italy instead of 1809. 1582 more people would be alive now.

How many people will be dead when the next exponential waves of the virus hit worldwide?

In fact all these deaths aren’t the real problem

The real problem from this pandemic is that because the virus is so infectious, even though it is fairly mild for most people, a large number become severely ill and require hospitalization. This large number of severely ill people overwhelms the entire hospital system. The population is then forced into quarantine to slow down the rate of infections, which can lead to a total breakdown of society.

Using these treatment options, the majority of people will be kept out of hospital entirely. Both the Koreans and Chinese guidelines make it clear that people should be treated very early if the infection progresses beyond a mild case.

This is likely the reason the medical system in Italy is currently overwhelmed.

The most important thing you can do is make your local healthcare system and government aware of this problem. If you’re successful, you’ll save lives.

What if you get sick?

Korea is one of the countries with the most experience with the virus and their treatment has proven results.

If you get sick I suggest you closely study the official Korean medical guidelines (archive) and find a doctor that will treat you according to those guidelines. Don’t self-treat, as these are powerful drugs that have side effects and interactions with other drugs. You could easily overdose and die. Many people died of aspirin overdose during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic⁴. Only in an emergency would I use this information to treat myself (and I certainly would if I had no other choice).

In addition, it appears we now have 3 additional treatment options, giving us a total of 5 treatment choices depending on individual tolerances and availability.

These come from a set of guidelines published by a Spanish healthcare association. A medical researcher on twitter made an english translated version. Show this to your doctor along with the official Korean treatment guidelines.

You don’t need to get these drugs yourself. Chloroquine is readily available to your doctor and it is an inexpensive, off patent drug that has been used clinically since 1947. It can be easily produced in massive quantities even if there are temporary shortages⁵.

About me

I used to work in Silicon Valley tech. I’m now interested in using Chinese philosophy to find truth in complex situations. I lived at Wudang Mountain, Hubei Province, China from 2014 to 2016. I did this research because my mother is in a high risk category in Australia.

Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/adrianbye

Telegram group chat: http://t.me/virusscience

Thanks to Frodi, Matt, Aaron, Doug, J, Athena and Majko for reading drafts of this.

Sources

[1]https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

[2] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-11/who-s-pandemic-declaration-came-too-late-brazil-says

[3]https://apnews.com/1cf4791dc5c14b9299e0f532c75f63b2/AP-Exclusive:-Health-agency-spends-more-on-travel-than-AIDS

[4]https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091002132346.htm

[5]https://www.ashp.org/drug-shortages/current-shortages/drug-shortage-detail.aspx?id=640

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