South Dakota is set to become the first state in the United States to try a statewide clinical trial for hydroxychloroquine to treat the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Governor Kristi Noem announced the start of the statewide clinical trials on Monday, April 13.
“We’re going on offense to help every single person deal with this virus and be willing to fight it and get better and go home to their families,” Noem announced.
The governor has been in contact with the Trump administration and members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force to inform them of the decision to hold the clinical trials in South Dakota.
The trial will have two components, according to Dr. Allison Suttle, Sanford Health’s chief medical officer. The first side, identified as the registry component, will give every South Dakotan who has tested positive COVID-19 and is a viable candidate, the option to receive hydroxychloroquine. The second side will be a randomized trial for people who were exposed to COVID-19, including health care workers, someone who lives with someone who tested positive and people within the vulnerable population.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 22,800 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.