Second patient dies from coronavirus at Henry Ford Allegiance Health

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JACKSON, MI (WILX) -- Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson said a second patient has died from the coronavirus.

The health care system said the patient was a 58-year-old female.

Henry Ford Allegiance Health said the woman did have underlying health issues.

In its daily coronavirus update, the health care system said physicians are treating patients who have coronavirus with a drug called hydroxychloroquine as their treatment strategy.

The health care system said the drug is an arthritis medication that can also be used to prevent malaria.

Over the past weekend, the health care system said the Food and Drug Administration granted "emergency use authorization" for the medication to be used for treatment of the coronavirus.

“All patients with COVID-19 who are sick enough to be admitted to our hospital are receiving a standard five-day course of hydroxychloroquine,” said Vivek Kak, MD, Medical Director for Infectious Disease at Henry Ford Allegiance Health. “This is part of a well-defined protocol that was developed by a multi-disciplinary team of critical care physicians and nurses, pharmacists and infectious disease specialists.”

The health care system said it is also using the drug to treat patients who are believed to have coronavirus but are waiting for official test results.

“We are seeing encouraging results from this protocol,” added Dr. Kak. “In some cases, we are seeing sick patients coming off ventilators, which makes us guardedly optimistic this intervention will reduce severity of the sickness, and in some cases, save lives.”

The health care system said it was able to discharged four patients who have fully recovered from the coronavirus Wednesday morning.

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