The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) President and CEO Mike Bober released a statement regarding off-label usage of chloroquine phosphate to tray and prevent COVID-19.
“We at the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council are saddened to hear of the death of a man in Arizona after he ingested a substance labeled for use as a medication used to treat fish parasites that contained the ingredient chloroquine phosphate. On behalf of the entire responsible pet care community, we warn the public that they should never use pet care products, or any products, for any purpose other than what the label directs.
Some fish medications contain chloroquine phosphate or other forms of chloroquine, but the active ingredients are in a different form from those intended for human use and can be poinsonous if ingested by people. These products may also have additional ingredients that support the intended use, but can be harmful to humans. In this case, it is believed that the deceased mistakenly thought that chloroquine phosphate could prevent the COVID-19 virus. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 nor any evidence that current medicine can cure the disease.
The responsible pet care community is now, and always has been, committed to protecting the health and well-being of humans and companion animals. The WHO and CDC continue to affirm that there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19. We at PIJAC recommend that people follow the guidelines for preventing COVID-19 infections at cdc.gov/covid19, and for keeping safe around pets at cdc.gov/healthypets, including always washing your hands after handling or being around animals or their waste, food or supplies.”