Bob Reid of Niceville points out that the delay between testing and results could spell doom for some COVID-19 patients, who could otherwise be taking anti-malarial drugs for their illness.

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If one develops symptoms of COVID-19, speedy treatment is crucial — especially for the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. But, with test kits in limited supply, and long turnaround time for test results, the disease can prove deadly before any treatment is received.


According to multiple sources, FDA approved drugs already on the shelf are proving effective in halting the virus if taken soon after onset of symptoms. Good results have been shown with the anti-malaria formulations chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.


These drugs have been available for many years, and are inexpensive. But they do require a physician's prescription.


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As speedy treatment is crucial before permanent damage is caused to the lungs, one should not have to wait several days for a test (and several more days for test results) before starting a treatment regimen with such drugs.


Thus the quandary: If one is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and with few local doctors prescribing these drugs, how does one go about procuring them in a timely manner?


This could be a matter of life or death.


Bob Reid, Niceville