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UW leading study on hydroxychloroquine’s effect on COVID-19

Hydroxychloroquine (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

Led by the University of Washington School of Medicine, researchers will investigate whether hydroxychloroquine, a commonly used anti-malarial and autoimmune-disease treatment, can prevent transmission in people exposed to COVID-19.

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The study will enroll 2,000 participants who are close contacts of people with confirmed or pending COVID-19 diagnoses. The participants will be referred by the doctors.

Participants will either take hydroxychloroquine or a placebo over two weeks. The trial will run for eight weeks. Results are expected in the summer.

“Our goal is to stop transmission of COVID-19 in the community,” said principal investigator Ruanne Barnabas, associate professor of global health at the UW.

Hydroxychloroquine has been used since the early 1950s to prevent malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. It’s believed the medication works by preventing the virus from entering a cell.

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