Former NFL star credits anti-malarial drug for recovery from COVID-19

A former star with the NFL has revealed that, after being diagnosed with COVID-19, he is now on the road to recovery — and a controversial medication may be to thank.

According to the Washington Examiner, Mark Campbell, a former tight end for the Buffalo Bills, overcame what appears to have been a challenging case of the coronavirus with the help of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine.

Campbell praises anti-malarial drug

Campbell spoke about his illness during a recent appearance on CNN, according to the Examiner.

“I could breathe in and out right,” he said. “But I just feel like I couldn’t get the relief that I was looking for.”

As a result of his struggle with the illness, Campbell said he was admitted to the hospital, where he spent five days. That is when he was treated with hydroxychloroquine, which Campbell said made all the difference.

“Fortunately for me, you know, they put me on some meds, the HCQ worked great for me, I will be honest with you there,” Campbell declared, according to the Examiner.

Controversial treatment

Hydroxychloroquine, or HCQ, as Campbell referred to it, is an anti-malaria medication that has been touted by some, including President Donald Trump, as a potentially game-changing treatment for the coronavirus. There has been a great deal of anecdotal evidence, such as Campbell’s own story, of patients struggling with the illness being given hydroxychloroquine and then seeing dramatic improvement in their conditions.

The medical community, however, has been locked in debate over the efficacy and safety of the drug. Experts such as White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have emphasized that the drug is still unproven for use in coronavirus patients and can cause significant side effects while also acknowledging the successful outcomes seen in some patients.

“But in the same breath, I have to say there is not definitive evidence that it works, and we are not quite sure yet of the toxicities because you’re using it in a different disease and you’re using it at a much higher dose,” Fauci said in a recent interview, the Washington Examiner reported.

Best available option?

With that being said, it obviously worked for Campbell, and it has indisputably been effective in other cases, including that of Michigan state Democratic lawmaker Karen Whitsett, who claimed that the drug saved her life.

Whitsett said that she would not have been aware of the drug as a possible treatment for her COVID-19 symptoms had Trump not discussed it in such a public manner, according to Newsweek.

While Fauci and other members of the medical community continue to dispute the wisdom of prescribing hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus, the drug appears to be having a positive impact for a growing number of patients. While it may not be the perfect solution, it might just be the best available option until an effective vaccine can be brought to market.

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