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U.S. Revokes Emergency Use of Malaria Drugs for COVID-19
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday revoked its emergency authorization for two malaria drugs as potential COVID-19 treatments.
The drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine — touted by President Donald Trump as a treatment for the coronavirus — are unlikely to be effective, the FDA said amid growing evidence they don't work and could cause deadly side effects.
The regulator said the drugs pose a greater risk to patients than any potential benefits.
Citing reports of heart complications, the FDA said the decades-old drugs' unproven benefits "do not outweigh the known and potential risks."
Monday's revocation means that shipments of the drugs obtained by the federal government will no longer be distributed to state and local health authorities.
The drugs are still available for alternate uses, so U.S. doctors could still prescribe them for COVID-19 in a practice known as off-label prescribing.
Trump aggressively promoted the drug during the first weeks of the outbreak and stunned medical professionals when he claimed that he was taking the drug preemptively against infection. This prompted several countries and organizations, including the WHO, to look into its possible efficacy, but most such studies have since ceased.
Reposted with permission from Deutsche Welle.
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By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.
Earth had its second-warmest year on record in 2020, just 0.02 degrees Celsius (0.04°F) behind the record set in 2016, and 0.98 degrees Celsius (1.76°F) above the 20th-century average, NOAA reported January 14.
Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for 2020, the second-warmest year the globe has seen since record-keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA. Record-high annual temperatures over land and ocean surfaces were measured across parts of Europe, Asia, southern North America, South America, and across parts of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. No land or ocean areas were record cold for the year. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
Figure 2. Total ocean heat content (OHC) in the top 2000 meters from 1958-2020. Cheng et al., Upper Ocean Temperatures Hit Record High in 2020, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences
Figure 3. Departure of sea surface temperature from average in the benchmark Niño 3.4 region of the eastern tropical Pacific (5°N-5°S, 170°W-120°W). Sea surface temperature were approximately one degree Celsius below average over the past month, characteristic of moderate La Niña conditions. Tropical Tidbits
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