Did NIH Publish a Study That Shows The Effectiveness of Chloroquine Against Coronavirus 15 Years Ago?
A viral Facebook post which has now been shared over 3400 times contains the claim that a study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) did publish a study that shows Chloroquine is effective in treating coronavirus 15 years ago.
In the post, the author had written, ‘N.I.H. 15 years ago published a study on chloroquine. It is effective against Coronavirus. We are being lied to America!’ In the face of this claim, it is important to run a fact check and find out if truly Americans are being lied to by the health authorities as claimed in this viral post.
At first, it could be difficult to draw any connection between the coronavirus which started in 2019, and a 15 year old NIH study which is supposed to show that chloroquine is the cure. However, a closer look at past records gave us some insights. In August 2005, a study which was published as seen in this Virology Journal showed that chloroquine was ‘a potent inhibitor of SARS Coronavirus’. This would be the study which is being referred to in this Facebook post.
While the findings in this study were accurate, the author of the Facebook post with this claim may not have done enough research before coming up with the claim that the study was definite in showing that chloroquine is effective in treating the current coronavirus (COVID-19).
To start with, the name would have been the major confusion here. The study shows that chloroquine is effective against ‘SARS Coronavirus’ which can also be written as ‘SARS-CoV’. However, the current coronavirus is ‘SARS-CoV-2’, which means it is different from the one in the 2005 study.
Although both forms of SARS Coronavirus are caused by a coronavirus, yet, they are different in a lot of ways. To learn more on the many differences between the current coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and the (SARS-CoV), you can read up this article on Healthline.
Without a shred of doubt, it is clear that the author of this viral Facebook post made the claim because he didn’t do enough research on the 2005 study he was quoting. This post is false and misleading.