A FAMILY from Chippenham has added its voice to the call by Donald Trump to test a drug usually used to treat malaria to see if it could be the way to stop coronavirus.

Joanne Mott, 44, and her husband Gareth believe their experience shows that Hydroxychloriquine could be a game changer in the battle to stop COVID19.

Mrs Mott, who suffers from a wide range of health problems which means she has low immunity and regularly takes the drug, usually picks up any illnesses that her husband Gareth or son Kieran, 15, may bring home.

But during December and early January,before coronavirus was widely known about, both Gareth and Kieran developed symptoms.

Gareth said: “My complex family dynamic may have vital information about the cure or treatment of Covid 19.

“During December and January my son and I had corona virus symptoms following contact with my stepmother who had visited Hong Kong and China shortly before.

“We visited our GP who said it was viral. We took paracetamol, fluids and rest, and eventually recovered.

“My wife, who has serious existing respiratory health conditions, has been treated in hospital on life support and ventilator from catching a cold, has home oxygen and has been taking hydroxychloroquine for many years.

“She did not suffer any Covid 19 symptoms. Is my wife taking the right medicine to protect her from Covid 19? Have my son and I had Covid 19 and now carry antibodies.

“I hope this example can be useful in fighting this global pandemic and can help save thousands of lives and millions of pounds.”

Joanne said: “Usually if one of them has the slightest sore throat or cold I have to be very careful not to catch it and it is much worse for me.

“But this time I didn’t get the symptoms. I think they should be tested to see if they have the antibodies to show they did suffer from COVID19. This could be really important.”

The debate over hydroxychloroquine hit the headlines after President Trump spoke out the potential for the drug in the fight against coronavirus.

He called it a chloroquine game change and caused panic buying in some US states, which had to take measures to prevent shortages.

Trials were started in New York earlier this month to test both drugs. Drug maker Bayer has donated three million doses of Resochin its brand name for chloroquine, to the federal government for trials.

A spokesman for the World Health Organisation working group said: “There is a need to examine emerging evidence to inform a decision on its potential role.”

However in Nigeria three overdoses have been reported by people using the drug.