Home International Huge surge in Google searches for risky coronavirus remedies

Huge surge in Google searches for risky coronavirus remedies

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Don’t try and cure Covid-19 on your own.

Berlin – A new study has found that higher numbers of people

are taking interest in untried and possibly dangerous therapies to

treat the novel coronavirus after they were recommended by

high-profile US public figures. 

In the United States, researchers for JAMA Internal Medicine, a

medical journal, noted an enormous increase in the number of Google

searches for two malaria drugs after they were recommended as

possible virus remedies, first by Tesla founder Elon Musk and then by

US President Donald Trump.

Searches by people looking where they could buy chloroquine increased

by 442 per cent, while queries about hydroxychloroquine rose by 1,389

per cent, said the team led by Michael Liu of Oxford University in

Britain.

Interest among Google users in both substances remained higher than

average even after the death of a man by chloroquine poisoning was

reported.

Maybe worth considering chloroquine for C19https://t.co/LEYob7Jofr

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)March 16, 2020

 

“Endorsements can lead to unsupervised use of the products with

dangerous consequences to the people who take them, and hoarding of

these medications can result in shortages for those who require them

for legitimate health reasons,” the authors said.

“In times of public health crises, demand for unproven and

potentially hazardous Covid-19 treatments is massively increased by

endorsements,” they wrote, adding, “Public health leaders, regulatory

agencies, media, and retailers must amplify accurate information.”

The World Health Organization has warned people against trying to

treat the virus with substances whose effectiveness has yet to be

proved.

A study released recently from the United States showed that patients

suffering from the respiratory disease Covid-19 who took

hydroxychloroquine had a higher death rate than a control group.

dpa