It cannot be said that there is no treatment for COVID-19, according to a new French study

“It cannot be said that there is no treatment for COVID-19, if taken at an early stage” – this is the conclusion of a Report resulting from the experience of field doctors in France.

The authors include doctors Dr Violaine GUERIN, Dr Thierry LARDENOIS, Dr Pierre LEVY, Dr Nathalie REGENSBERG de ANDREIS, Dr Emmanuel SARRAZIN, Dr Jean-Louis THOMAS, Dr Martine WONNER.

These doctors present diagnostic and therapeutic recommendations for the use of their colleagues.

Important fact: the report does not examine the role of zinc, now recognized as important for treating the disease. See in particular this article on the experience of three French doctors on the use of the azithromycin – zinc combination.

This report, in French, should be read in its entirety. It can be accessed at the following link.

Here are some excerpts.

“The concern of the general practitioners is not the ICU phase of the course of care of patients suffering from COVID-19, as it is the responsibility of public or private hospitals. The concern of general practitioners (médecins de ville) is to treat patients as early as possible so that they do not have to go to intensive care. ” (page 10)

“Some hundred trials worldwide are examining the action of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19. Understandably, most are performed at a late stage of the disease, where NO ACTION from the HCQ is expected, given the pathophysiology of the disease. ”

“This is for example the case of the European study” DISCOVERY “which was to include 3200 patients including 800 in France (160 testing hydroxychloroquine alone without association with azithromycin) in patients with pulmonary disease. It would appear that this open study has already seen the arrest of two tested arms, including the HCQ arm, for ineffectiveness. “

“Studies of patients in the early stage of the disease are ongoing, but with HCQ alone and therefore depriving themselves of the synergy with Azithromycin [China, Korea, Thailand, USA, Canada].” (page 15)

“Several studies have been cited by the French health authorities to support the ineffectiveness of hydroxychloroquine. In addition to the fact that none of them tested the protocol recommended by Professor Raoult, these studies have favored the failure of hydroxychloroquine: prescription in 2nd phase of illness, doses that are not respected, non-association with azithromycin, prescription in patients with severe disease requiring hospitalization and very often resuscitation. ” (page 17)

The report analyzes the results of a particular retrospective study conducted by general practitioners. (page 19).

“This retrospective study was conducted in the context of a health emergency with constraints and shortcomings which necessarily make it imperfect. So we will gradually highlight everything that could have been assessed in an ideal situation. ”

This study compares 2 treatments – azithromycin and azithromycin + hydroxychloroquine – and also includes a control group.

Among several aspects, the global evaluation of clinical progress and the effectiveness of treatment is carried out. 

In terms of treatment effectiveness, it is considered excellent in 70% of cases for the combination azithromycin and azithromycin, and for 67% of cases for azithromycin alone, compared to 22% for the control group. (page 22).

There was one death in this study, an 82 year old male, who was in the control group. (page 23)

As a general conclusion, here is what the authors write.

“It cannot be said that there is no treatment for COVID-19 taken at an early stage.”

“Even if methodologically imperfect, the IHU Mediterranean studies (1,17,18), the Chinese study published by Levantovsky et al. (19), that of Barbosa et al. (20), as well as the present study conduct by the collective of French doctors, all go in the same direction. ”

“The treatment combining hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin does better than the only symptomatic treatment in terms of effectiveness and without creating serious damage when the prescription is made under medical supervision.”

“It is terrible to note that to date, we could have had an even more precise and better documented answer if we had been able to conduct a scheduled study with 1,000 COVID positive medical doctors who would have conscientiously self-treated and self-monitored. ”

“Better still, it would have been possible to assess in parallel different therapeutic proposals from general practitioners, on the front line of the COVID-19 epidemic, and with issues totally different from those in intensive care.”