BURLINGTON — The Vermont Dept. of Health is urging people not to take unapproved drugs to treat COVID-19.

The U.S.Food and Drug Administration has not approved any drugs specifically for the treatment of patients with COVID-19.

Though the anti-malarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, among others, have been widely discussed as potential treatments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said there are no data currently available from randomized clinical trials that would inform how these drugs could be used to treat COVID-19.

In fact, there are significant potential risks to taking such drugs, including death. National news outlets have reported that one man has died from taking chloroquine after it was touted by President Donald Trump as a possible treatment. However, federal health officials have taken the same position as state health officials and discouraged use of drugs, including chloroquine, for which there is not yet a proven benefit.

Health officials remind Vermonters that most people who get COVID-19 can manage their symptoms at home with rest, drinking fluids and taking fever-reducing medication. Health officials recommend talking with a health care provider before taking any substance alleged to prevent or treat COVID-19.

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