ALPENA, Mich. — Multiple organizations are warning Americans against a new strain of COVID misinformation.
If you shop at Tractor Supply Company, you may have seen this note posted in the livestock medicine section.
In recent months online misinformation has made the anti–parasite drug Ivermectin popular as a COVID cure or preventative.
The FDA–approved medication typically treats worms or lice, but requires a prescription. That’s why some people have turned to purchasing veterinary versions of the drug intended for livestock.
Dr. Josh Meyerson of the local health department, says there’s not enough data to reasonably choose Ivermectin over proven measures and treatments.
“There have been some studies. Unfortunately, very few, if any of them, have been good, well- controlled studies… What we need are good studies. If you really wanted to know if a drug is effective, I personally would want to know if that drug was studied and tested and shown to be safe and effective.”
Misinformation about the drug began early in the pandemic when some people misinterpreted a scientific study on social media. In fact, the authors only proposed it as a possible treatment for COVID–19, pending further studies. Ivermectin saw a social media resurgence in recent weeks, possibly related to the spread of the Delta Variant.
The drug is currently undergoing research in a clinical trial by the National Institutes of Health.
Meanwhile, the both the FDA and WHO advise people not to take veterinary versions of Ivermectin because they’re more potent than those for humans. This greater potency has sent several people to the hospital with poisoning in recent weeks. They also advise against taking human Ivermectin unless explicitly prescribed by your doctor.