Inquirer health columnist tests positive for Covid-19
Inquirer health columnist Dr. Rafael Castillo, a member of the Professional Regulatory Board of Medicine and an actively practicing cardiologist at Manila Doctors Hospital (MDH), has tested positive for COVID-19.
He advises everyone he mingled with during the administrative case hearing over which he presided at the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) on Jan. 7, and with whom he had face-to-face meetings at the PRC office on Jan. 8 and at Little Flour Café in Bonifacio Global City last weekend, to take the prescribed precautionary measures on quarantine, as well as prompt treatment if warranted by symptoms.
On Jan. 12, Castillo began experiencing moderately severe symptoms consisting of fever, chills, itchy throat, muscle and joint pains, shortness of breath, shooting nerve pains, profound weakness and zero appetite, such that he had no solid food intake for almost 24 hours.
But the symptoms started to improve within six hours of initiating treatment, and he was nearly symptom-free in 48 hours.
Castillo said he was attributing his “almost miraculous” rate of recovery “to God’s mercy and the early initiation of treatment.”
He cited the importance of not waiting for COVID-19 swab results before initiating appropriate treatment.
“It’s better to be one step ahead than one step late in COVID,” Castillo said, adding that late treatment was “the usual cause of increased deaths among the elderly and other high-risk persons.”
Castillo and his group at MDH pioneered the use of high-dose melatonin in symptomatic COVID-19 patients. Their clinical report on this treatment was published in an American journal in June 2020, and is acknowledged as the first report on the actual use of high-dose melatonin in persons diagnosed with COVID-19.
The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development is currently funding a randomized double blind trial to confirm efficacy of the treatment.
The trial is being led by renowned pulmonologist Dr. Camilo Roa Jr.
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