On Monday, March 23, the Pima County Health Department reported the first death due to COVID-19 in Pima County. According to the Health Department, the individual was a woman in her 50s with underlying health conditions that may have put her at higher risk.
The death also marks the 25th case of COVID-19 in Pima County as of March 23. Health Department officials expect the number of cases to continue to increase as testing becomes more widely available.
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, speak with a healthcare provider for medical advice. According to the CDC, people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Stay at home and avoid public transportation, but stay in touch with your doctor. If you do leave your home, wear a facemask and clean your hands often. If you develop more severe symptoms (persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, bluish lips) get medical attention immediately. Your local health authorities will give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.
Meanwhile, Banner Health officials warned against self-medicating to prevent or treat COVID-19 after a couple in their 60s ingested chloroquine phosphate, a chemical used to clean fish tanks. It took less than half an hour for them to need medical aid. The man died and the woman remains in critical condition.
President Donald Trump has hailed chloroquine, which is sometimes used to treat malaria, as a treatment for COCID-19.
“Given the uncertainty around COVID-19, we understand that people are trying to find new ways to prevent or treat this virus, but self-medicating is not the way to do so,” said Dr. Daniel Brooks, Banner Poison and Drug Information Center medical director. “The last thing that we want right now is to inundate our emergency departments with patients who believe they found a vague and risky solution that could potentially jeopardize their health.”