COVID 19 – Correlation with Malaria

COVID 19 –  Correlation with Malaria and What You Can Do

Is there a coincidence that treatment of malaria with hydroxychloroquine may be related to its about to treat malaria? Do these two diseases share a common cause? There is a theory that, although not validated yet, may explain why hydroxychloroquine works on both.

How Malaria causes problems

Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite called p. falciparum, transmitted to a person via a mosquito bite. Once inside the person and in the blood,  the malarial parasite does the following:

  • Goes to the liver where it grows and generates plasmids
  • Plasmids go into the blood and into the red blood cells (RBC’s), infecting them and causing havoc
  • Inside the red blood cells, the plasmids destroy almost 70% of the hemoglobin inside the RBC’s
  • This destruction of the hemoglobin results in separation of the “heme” part.[1]
  • This separation of heme results in giving up the iron and leaving the organic part of heme, called porphyrin, which doesn’t carry oxygen well: you need the iron with the hemoglobin to do this.
  • Destruction of hemoglobin prevents the red blood cells from carrying oxygen adequate to the tissues, resulting in essentially “strangling” the tissue cells from poor oxygen.
  • This lack of oxygen weakens the cells so they have a hard time functioning properly.
  • The chloroquine also affects the cell walls and literally “dissolves” the cell was
  • Abnormal cell walls break (lyses) the red blood cells and they clog arteries
  • The combination results in blockage of the vessels, clots, and poor ability to bring oxygen and nutrients to the organs. This of course weakens the tissues even further.
  • When this gets bad enough to affect the tissues excessively, end organ failure occurs, with subsequent death

How do the chloroquine work?

There are several actions of the chloroquine that have been prosed for their ability to inhibit COVID19 virus from causing serious disease. Chloroquine has antiviral actions via multiple pathways and inhibits replication of certain viruses.[2] One is that Chloroquines act as a carrier molecules and to carry zinc into the cells.[3] Zinc’s action within the cell is to prevent the replication of the virus within the cell. This action is enhanced with higher levels of zinc within the cell, which the chloroquines do. The result is that you see more inhibition of replication of the virus, less infection, and the less likely you’ll develop the severe form of the disease.

The second action of the chloroquines is their action on preventing dissociation of heme, similar to how they work with malaria. group of drugs used for treating malaria for the last 80 years are the chloroquine, such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.   They appear to prevent the destruction the RBC’s cell walls and the destruction of the blood hemoglobin. The RBC’S maintain their ability to carry oxygen to the tissues resulting in no organ failure and survival from the malarial disease.

It has been shown that the chloroquine prevents the destruction of hemoglobin, allowing it to continue carrying oxygen to the tissues. The decreased ability to transport oxygen ends up starving the cells.

When You starve the cells, they become sick with inflammation  comes in and causes further damage, and the ultimate result is death. Could Covid 10 and malaria have a similar chain reaction, and this is why the chloroquines are effective in both  diseases.

So, the scenario may be similar to how they work with COVID 19. When the coronavirus gets into your body, the chloroquines do the following:

  • Usually COVID19 goes into your nasal passages and your mouth where it multiplies
  • Once enough has grown in the mouth, it goes into your lungs.
  • In the lungs it causes increase in mucous production.
  • From the lungs, it goes into your blood.
  • Inside the red blood cells (RBCs), it breaks up the hemoglobin part of the RBC.
  • This destruction results in dissociation of the iron from the heme part of hemoglobin, and heme is combination of iron plus porphyrin
  • Iron is necessary to allow hemoglobin to accept oxygen and carbon dioxide, and to deliver the oxygen to the cells, pick up the carbon dioxide, and exchange the two in the lungs
  • Just like with malaria, this dissociation results in releasing the iron and leaving porphyrin[4]
  • Porphyrin is a poor carrier of oxygen to the tissue
  • Breakup of the hemoglobin results in poor ability to bring oxygen to the organs
  • The poor ability to exchange oxygen with carbon dioxide results in severe inflammation of the cells in the alveoli of the lungs with resultant fluid collection and damage to the lung tissues
  • The chloroquines may also affect the cell walls, preventing the virus from entering the cells.
  • They may also prevent damage to the cell walls
  • Such damage to the cell walls would otherwise result in some lysis of the cells
  • Cell damage results in increase clot formation, and organ tissue destruction; similar to what happens in malaria
  • COVID19 has been associated with increased clot formation with the severe form of the disease.
  • Combinations of these actions of the coronavirus results in end organ failure and death.
  • The chloroquines may prevent this severe form of COVID19 from happening by inhibition of all these actions


Covid 19 and pulmonary disease

What we do know is that when Covid 19 causes its severe pulmonary illness, the usual techniques for treating ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) don’t seem to be very effective, respirators don’t work well, and people die too often. Perhaps it’s not the same ARDS disease that one normally sees. What if the root of the problem is a destruction of hemoglobin inside the RBC’s and excess replication of the virus within the cells resulting in the subsequent scenario discussed above.

In fact, there are many stories from different healthcare workers in the front lines who have witnessed that the Covid 19 produces a different type of ARDS than typical ARDS. It just is not responsive to typical treatments of ARDS, thus potentially a different disease.

If this is true, then treating with the chloroquines, and treating early would be the best therapy to prevent the above scenario of severe fatal disease outcome. Maybe President Trump was totally right in stating early on and now that treatments with the chloroquines shows promise. It not only shows promise, but it makes sense, and studies have shown that it works, but it must be started early.

What to do if you think you have COVID19

At our office, we offer to prescribe hydroxychloroquine, but you must start early. You must make an appointment for an office visit to do this. Because they are limiting and “rationing” the chloroquines for only those with the disease, it is a requirement that an office visit be made and documented. This can be just a Telehealth virtual office visit.

Thus, if you have symptoms of COVID19, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, perhaps diarrhea associated with aches or other viral type symptoms, call the office and schedule an appointment. With COVID19, it is best to be proactive and do what you can to prevent the severe form than to just wait and see if you just get the bad form of the disease.

If you have any chronic medical condition, then it is even more imperative that you do this. Almost 99% of the severe cases of COVID19 occur in people with chronic medical conditions. These can include heart disease,[5] cancers, and diabetes,[6] older age, but even being obese can increase your odds. Being black can also increase your odds, and I have discussed this in a previous blog article.

Moreover, there are actions you can take to decrease these risks. One is to optimize your health, such as losing weight if you are overweight. We have a fantastic weight-loss program that can help you do this. Another is to take products that can improve and boost the efficiency of your immune system to fight off degenerative problems and possibly infections. Two supplements that are especially recommended are curcumin and green tea.

Other compounds that boost your immune system are peptides. These are chains of amino acids that signal your body’s immune system to function more efficiently. I have discussed these on prior blogs too. Just go to the search bar in my blog and type in “peptide”.

If you’re interested on getting on peptides or any other of these treatments, call and make an appointment for a consultation and we can get you started.


The chloroquines have several actions that may reduce the severity of the COVID10 virus, and some are similar to the actions they have with the malarial disease. They work well for prevention only when started early in the infection, so take note and take action early.

There are other substances that may also improve your immunity. Let us know if we can help you with any of these concepts so you can decrease your risk of developing fatal COVID19 disease.

[1] Fitch CD. Ferriprotoporphyrin IX, phospholipids, and the antimalarial actions of quinoline drugs. Life Sciences

74(16), 5 March 2004:1957-1972. /

[2] Devaux CA, et al. New insights on the antiviral effects of chloroquine against coronavirus: what to expect for COVID-19? International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. 12 March 2020, 105938.

[3] Shittu MO, Afolami OI. Improving the efficacy of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine againstSARS-CoV-2 may require zinc additives – A better synergy for future COVID-19 clinical trials. Le Infezioni in Medicina, n. 2, 192-197, 2020.

[4] wenzhong, liu; hualan, Li (2020): COVID-19: Attacks the 1-Beta Chain of Hemoglobin and Captures the Porphyrin to Inhibit Human Heme Metabolism. ChemRxiv. Preprint.


[5] Banai M. Cardiovascular disease and COVID-19. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews. 14(3), May–June 2020: 247-250.

[6] Singh AK, et al. Diabetes in COVID-19: Prevalence, pathophysiology, prognosis and practical considerations. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews. 14(4) July–August 2020: 303-310.

If you are looking to meet with Dr True, we offer telehealth virtual doctor’s appointments. Schedule yours here.


It is with much sorrow we must share with you our wonderful physician, Dr. Robert True, passed away. Because his death was not anticipated, we are in the process of finding a physician to care for our patients and have a temporary physician and nurse practitioner in place. If you are in urgent need of your medical records, please contact us at 817-399-8783 so we may send you the legal medical records request form. We appreciate your patience as we work through this situation to try and maintain our practice.