Medications to Treat Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

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A health worker checks the temperature of a traveller as part of the coronavirus screening procedure at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is concerned about inaccurate information being distributed through traditional and social media regarding the prevention and treatment of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Based on a review of evidence and expert assessment, Africa CDC has recommended the following:

1. Physicians should not prescribe, and individuals should not take chloroquine, or hydroxychloroquine to prevent or treat COVID-19 except under clinical trial or monitored emergency use of unregistered and investigational interventions (MEURI). These drugs can cause neurologic, ophthalmic, cardiac, and other forms of toxicity.

2. Physicians should not prescribe, and individuals should not take, Lopinavir/Ritonavir, Remdesivir, or other medications to prevent or treat COVID-19 except under clinical trial or MEURI.

3. Paracetamol, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen may be used to relieve symptoms of fever and/or myalgia due to viral infection.

4. Physicians should use evidence-based guidance when treating patients with COVID¬19 infection, such as that published by the World Health Organization (https://www.who. int/publications-detail/clinical-management-of-severe-acute-respiratory-infection-when¬novel-coronavirus-(ncov)-infection-is-suspected).

5. Clinical trials and MEURI should follow WHO Guidance on Ethical Issues in Infectious Disease Outbreaks (https://www.who.int/ethics/publications/ infectious-disease-outbreaks/en/).