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We read with interest the comment by Joob and Wiwanitkit1 on the letter published by Monti et al in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases (ARD).2 In it, the authors state that there are no reported cases of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) with COVID-19 and suggest that this may be due to a protective effect of hydroxychloroquine, a mainstay treatment taken by most patients with SLE. A similar suggestion had already been made earlier this month in the ARD by colleagues from Italy,3 the first hardly-hit western country, and was reinforced by yet another recently published letter.4
As is now widely known, this old antimalarial drug, which has been part of the daily therapeutic armamentarium of rheumatologists for decades, has reached the global spotlight after demonstration of antiviral efficacy in vitro5 and some suggestions of clinical efficacy in studies with methodological limitations and fast peer-review …
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