Chloroquine has also been suggested for chikangunya. Let us also keep in mind that as of now, we do not know much about pathogenesis of the disease. It is relevant to know how much of the damage is directly viral induced and how much is immune mediated. For instance, a major part of damage in influenza is due to our own immune reaction. If that be so, an anti inflammatory that does not disrupt our immune system would be relevant. Chloroquine is known to have both antiviral and anti inflammatory actions.
A natural compund with similar properties and without adverse effects may be a good prophylactic and therapeutic option on mass scale. Maybe something like that could be suggested for all individuals with viral upper respiratory symptoms without even necessarily testing. I am aware many people will scoff at the idea of doing any treatment without even testing but trying to test and waiting for test report all persons with viral upper respiratory symptoms is going to be an impossible task. It is now no longer an issue of testing only those with history of contact or those with travel to a particular country.
HIFA profile: Sandeep Saluja is an Internist at Saran Ashram Hospital, Dayalbagh, Agra, India. He is also a Rheumatologist and was earlier with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. He has volunteered to work in remote inaccesible parts of India for no personal or commercial reasons. He is a member of the HIFA working group on Information for Prescribers and Users of Medicines. www.hifa.org/projects/prescribers-and-users-medicines
http://www.hifa.org/support/members/sandeep Twitter @doctorsaluja doctorsaluja AT gmail.com