• COVID-19 death toll tops 80 in the U.S.
  • Researchers worldwide are working towards finding a cure or treatment
  • Elon Musk tweeted that malaria drug can help treat coronaviruses efficiently

While experts worldwide are working on finding a way to cure or treat COVID-19, Elon Musk has a new idea!

The Tesla CEO tweeted a link to an academic paper, which suggested that chloroquine tablets can help COVID-19 patients recover sooner.

“I received chloroquine via central line through my chest & both arms,” Bloomberg quoted Elon Musk’s Twitter comment, which was a reply to a Twitter user who asked him if he had taken the drug when he suffered from malaria. “Would’ve died for sure if not for chloroquine. Doesn’t mean it works for C19, but maybe better than nothing,” he wrote.

Published on March 13, the study titled “An Effective Treatment for Coronavirus (COVID-19)" reported that chloroquine is an effective antiviral therapeutic treatment against COVID-19 and that using the malaria drug helps the patients recover faster and shortens hospital stay.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that chloroquine has a strong potential as a preventative measure against coronavirus in the lab until a vaccine designed for it is made available. “Chloroquine can affect virus infection in many ways, and the antiviral effect depends in part on the extent to which the virus utilizes endosomes for entry. Chloroquine has been widely used to treat human diseases, such as malaria, amoebiosis, HIV, and autoimmune diseases, without significant detrimental side effects,” the paper mentioned CDC.

The drug has been available, since 1945, to treat malaria, autoimmune diseases, and certain other health conditions. Not only is it inexpensive but also globally available.

How does Chloroquine treat COVID-19?

According to the research paper, the drug inhibits the coronavirus’ replicative path in which it creates a growth factor-like mechanisms that optimize the growth environment in the cell. With its nitrogen structure, the drug has the unique ability to enter the cells and cross endosomal membranes and prevent acidification by absorbing a high amount of hydrogen.

Once it crosses the membrane and enters an organelle, the organelle is prevented from reaching a lower pH. When this happens, it disables hydrolysis required for the coronaviruses to replicate. Chloroquine’s entrance into the organelle almost constipates the entire viral system.

Per the South Korean and China human treatment guidelines, chloroquine is an effective treatment for COVID-19. Given the drug’s human safety profile and existence, it can be implemented throughout the world.

Elon Musk: 'genius'
Elon Musk: 'genius' AFP / FREDERIC J. BROWN