Actor Daniel Dae Kim has made an incredible recovery from COVID-19 after receiving a treatment that he described as a “secret weapon,” Fox News reports.
According to Fox, the 51-year-old Lost star was diagnosed with the coronavirus on March 15 and is now on the mend thanks to a combination of drugs including hydroxychloroquine.
Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-malarial drug that is highly effective against the novel coronavirus, according to preliminary studies and anecdotal reports.
Kim’s recovery is particularly encouraging considering his age. He may not be considered elderly, but men in his age group are certainly at higher risk from COVID-19.
The actor posted an Instagram update on Saturday, just four days after his initial diagnosis. “I have no symptoms other than a little residual congestion which should clear of very soon,” he said.
He also mentioned that the treatment he received had been “used with great success in Korea in their fight against the coronavirus.” The cocktail of drugs used in Kim’s treatment reportedly included Tamiflu, hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and an inhaler.
“[H]ere’s what I consider to be the secret weapon: hydroxychloroquine,” Kim said in his announcement. “This is a common anti-malarial drug that has been used with great success in Korea in their fight against the coronavirus, and yes, this is the drug that the president mentioned the other day.”
Hydroxychloroquine particularly is being tested around the world for its effectiveness against the coronavirus, Business Insider reports. It is still seen as experimental but the results so far are promising. In the U.S., hydroxychloroquine has not been approved by the FDA to treat COVID-19 but doctors have the power to prescribe it “off-label.”
The recovery of Kim and other patients who have been treated with the drug adds to the evidence in support of the use of these drugs to treat the highly infectious virus.
Donald Trump touted the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a potential “game-changer” over the weekend.
Though the press immediately piled on him about the fact that the combination is yet-unproven, a recently released French study headed up by renowned infectious disease specialist Dr. Didier Raoult found that six patients treated with the combination had no detectable viral load in tests conducted within six days of commencing use of the medication, according to The Washington Times.
Significant questions remain about whether the drugs are truly safe or effective to use in the fight against the virus, but clinical trials have already been launched to determine whether the treatment should be pursued or not.