Sanford Health launches clinical trial to fight and treat COVID-19

Coronavirus

South Dakota health officials had confirmed 868 cases of COVID-19, that’s 138 more cases than Sunday.

Now, South Dakota will be the first state in the country with a comprehensive clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of a drug to treat and prevent COVID-19.

Hydroxychloroquine, get used to that word because it could be the miracle drug we’ve been waiting for in fighting coronavirus.

Starting Monday South Dakota doctors will begin prescribing hydroxychloroquine in a statewide clinical trial to try and fight COVID-19.

The effort is being lead by Sanford Health, along with Avera and Monument Health.

“Now that the state has been able to get enough samples of the medication, every South Dakotan who has COVID-19 can have that discussion with their physician am I a candidate, am I a good option to receive hydroxychloroquine to fight this disease,’ Dr. Allison Suttle chief medical officer at Sanford Health said

The clinical trial will be used on two levels; to treat those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those who have been exposed to the virus, including health care workers and those who are considered high risk.

“The way the hydroxychloroquine works you take it similar to a z-pack you take a loading dose and then take it for about four or five days, but it stays in your body for up to 50 days, about 30 to 50 days so it will help those individuals who have been exposed to potentially fight the illness,” Dr Suttle said.

The governor calls today’s announcement a sign of hope.

“For weeks we knew we would see this virus come, the science of the virus tells us we can’t stop it, but we can slow it down, and take care of people while we are dealing with it and this announcement will make sure we do that in the best way possible and we are going on offense to help every single person to deal with this virus and are willing to fight it and get better and go home to their families,” Governor Kristi Noem said.

Right now they want to start treating 2,000 patients but have enough supplies to treat up to 100 thousand.

Doctors say the medication will also be available at the VA and IHS.

They say it may slow the replication process of the virus in the human body and allow the patient’s own immune system to get a better start in fighting the illness

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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