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Infectious Disease Specialist Says Existing SARS, MERS, Malaria Drugs All Being Tried to Treat COVID-19 

03-25-2020
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Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Frank Esper is a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital. He says no drug is specifically developed for children, so pediatric medicine is all about taking existing drugs, modifying the dosage, and carefully, cautiously, and methodically using them to treat illnesses they may not have been primarily designed to treat.

Esper says that's what's happening with the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's paying off. The Malaria drug Chloroquine has been used to treat patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms, and in some cases appears to have been the key to recovery.

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In an interview on Wednesday's The 700 Club, Dr. Esper told host Pat Robertson that other drugs are also being tried to treat COVID-19.

"What we're finding is there are a bunch of drugs, one of them being Chloroquine that people are talking about, that seem to be effective on this virus, and have been used in the past. Because we had SARS about 15 years ago and we had MERS about seven years ago, we also had drugs for them. So we took those off the shelf and said, 'hey, can we use those against this Coronavirus,'" Esper said. 

Click on the box above to see Pat Robertson's full interview with Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Frank Esper.

"Chloroquine is one we've been using for decades, so we know it's safe," he continued. "But we don't know how effective it is, or what dose we need to use it at. That information is going to be coming out."

One of the bright sides of the Coronavirus outbreak is that while children do get sick from it, they tend to not get as sick as adults. However, young adults in their twenties and older are contracting COVID-19 and becoming very ill from it. 

"We just saw a great report from the Centers for Disease Control that showed young adults between 20 and 44 were also still getting very, very sick but they were able to recover much better than adults 65 and older," Esper noted. "In the end, everyone needs to take care. Whether you're two years old or 102 years old, you need to care for yourself and trying to do your best in order to prevent getting infected at all."

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