Health officials warn people not to treat COVID with drug for livestock

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 6:21 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - As COVID continues to spread, some are trying to take treatment measures into their own hands.

The use of ivermectin, which is mainly used as an anti-parasite drug for livestock, has been widely discussed to treat coronavirus.

Much of this discussion is based online and a Republican senator even pushed the drug as a cure.

Local doctors say there has been some interest around the world in studying the drug as a treatment, but experts say the biggest studies have not shown much of an effect.

Some believe that the word has not gotten to many people who believe in the treatment, leading to a sharp increase in calls to poison control centers across the country.

“Sadly, the CDC has been seeing many, many visits to the emergency room by people being harmed by taking ivermectin. Physicians around the country are really worried that people are hearing on TikTok that ivermectin is the magic bullet, when it’s not, and they’re taking it and getting hurt,” said Dr. Tim Lahey, infection disease physician at the UVM Medical Center.

Lahey says there are a number of well-studied treatments being used in Vermont that can be used to prevent people from getting the disease or if used early into infection can help prevent hospitalization.

He says to always consult your doctor or a health professional before beginning a medication or treatment.

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