DETROIT, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – Henry Ford Hospital announced on Thursday a historic move in the fight against Covid-19.

The hospital is conducting the first large-scale U.S. study in prevention of the virus.

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“The study is called WHIP,W-H-I-P Covid and it’s the first randomized study. So very scientific study looking at whether or not using a drug called Hydroxychloroquine can help prevent healthcare workers, policeman and first responders from developing active Covid infection,” said Henry Ford Hospital Cardiologist Dr. William W. O’Neil.

O’Neil says, the study will use 3,000 subjects on a volunteer basis. The study is open to frontline Covid-19 workers in the metro Detroit area, who are not showing symptoms of the virus and who has tested negative. Dr. O’Neil says this study is vital in southeast Michigan.

“As you know Detroit is kind of in a hot zone, and we were some of the first to get really heavily involved with Covid, so we were able to organize this quickly and also we were right at the center of the storm,” said O’Neil.

Someone who has been through that storm is Detroit District 9 State Representative Karen Whitsett. She says she truly believes hydroxychloroquine saved her life after a bad battle with Covid-19.

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“I can tell you that in a few hours I could definitely feel the relief, and I can’t express to you what that relief really was like,” Whitsett.

Whitsett says up until the time she took the hydroxychloroquine on March 31, she felt as though she was going to die. But after the first dose, she says she felt better instantly and has been since.

This drug or any other has not been proven to cure Covid-19, but doctors at henry ford hospital are hopeful their whip Covid-19 scientific study will be a step in the right direction.

“We expect to have an answer in eight weeks,” said O’Neil.

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