Ivermectin and the Coronavirus Crisis

February 25th, 2022


Photo via Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto/Associated Press

The Coronavirus pandemic has been occurring for the past two years. SARS-CoV-2 is rumored to have originated from the food markets of Wuhan, China. Chinese patients reported cases of shortness of breath and fever, the virus had made its debut in December, 2019. Since then, countries have done lockdown restrictions and strict airport requirements.

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), urges for passengers to check the current COVID-19 situation at their destination. When traveling by air, individuals should consult with their airline in order to ensure that testing, vaccinations, and if any other important documents are provided. Those who are not updated with their vaccinations are required to take the vaccine regardless. Passengers who have tested positive should quarantine for ten days. Masks are required at airports and it is recommended to test again for COVID in case if COVID was caught after travel.

Recently, Mexico was reported to use a cost effective medication to treat the symptoms and to slow down the pandemic. Mexico City gave the medication to sick patients and it has slowed down cases according to The Washington Post. It was reported that nearly 200,000 medical kits were distributed in Mexico City. The Mexican government has regulated the coronavirus pandemic with testings and vaccinations in order to reduce potential cases.

Within the kits it did not only contain Ivermectin, but it contained Paracetamol, Aspirin, and Oximeters. The Mexican City government provided four Ivermectin tablets to sick patients within the hospitals. When 83,000 kits were given; it had lowered 52% of hospital admissions compared to those previously infected with the virus. Mexican city official, José Merino, who tweeted in Spanish on Twitter: “It is great news to be able to validate a public policy that [allows reducing impact of COVID-19].” 

Mexican Health Secretary, Olivia López Arellano, stated: “The decision was made during a different [time.]” An American sociologist, Phillip N. Cohen, reviewed the Mexican documents and debunked the fact that all of the medical kits contained Ivermectin. It was not confirmed which medications had improved the patients’ symptoms. The document had 10,000 downloads and Cohen stated: “I thought the paper was being used to spread misinformation.”

Ivermectin is a treatment used by healthcare professions in order to treat infections. It has not been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for COVID-19 use. Ivermectin is used to treat onchocerciasis. Onchocerciasis is a parasitic tropical disease that infects both the skin and eyes. According to the FDA, it is also used to treat infections caused by parasitic worms, head lice, and rosacea, a skin condition. The virus is transmissible and more cases are rising. As mentioned previously, hospitals have been at over-capacity with sick patients. Countries have attempted to use this medication in order to lower down coronavirus cases.

Ivermectin is defined by The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health (PMC) as: “Ivermectin is one of the most important drugs in veterinary and human medicine [and controls] parasitic infections.” Ivermectin was initially found within a Japanese golf course by Satoshi Ōmura in 1970; it’d inevitably be awarded a Nobel Prize. Ivermectin would later be used to treat infections and it is known for the use on horses and animals. Ivermectin has been referred to as a “miracle drug” although it can be opposed otherwise.

A tweet made by the US FDA Twitter account stated: “You are not [animals]. Seriously [you all need to stop it.]” regarding the harmful use of ivermectin to humans. The tweet would have a link leading up a warning about the use of ivermectin stated on the FDA website. The post clarified the fact that the productions promoted towards animal use are completely different products compared to ivermectin designed for human consumption.  The FDA website advises not to use ivermectin in order to treat COVID-19. City Journal stated Ivermectin was “typically used on livestock” and it wasn’t an “antiviral drug.” Clinical trials occurred within countries such as: Argentina, Turkey, Egypt, Malaysia, and the United States.

COVID-19 cases have gone down, and countries have tried to lower down cases. Mexico is not the only country using Ivermectin to slow down the spread. Peru has also been using the medication as well, and it has been approved and used since May 2020 according to BBC. There have been groups advocating for the legalization of Ivermectin worldwide, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. This situation has caused an ethical debate worldwide due to the pandemic.

The world is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic as more variants start to appear. Variants are named after the Greek alphabet such examples include: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron. “Viruses like SARS-CoV evolve as changes [within] the genetic code occur during the replication of a genome,” according to the CDC. There is still a lineage that remains which is defined by the CDC as a “group of closely related viruses [inherited] from a common ancestor. SARS-CoV-2 has many lineages; which all cause COVID-19.”

Omicron subvariant BA.2 has spread around like wildfire. The subvariant makes up for at least one in every five new COVID cases found worldwide according to Deadline. Recent data concludes that Omicron 21K is the highest variant within the United States according to a statistics website, CoVariants. Within the state of Virginia, Omicron 21k is the highest reported variant. This year, omicron has taken the world by storm according to recent data.

It is important to wear masks in public, and to wash hands frequently in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. Secure tight fitting masks include: KN95, KF94, and the N95, according to Harvard. These masks have been proven and shown to have good air filtration. It is also urged to practice social distancing whenever possible.

Currently, the Ivermectin and Coronavirus crisis show no signs of stopping soon worldwide. People must take the appropriate precautions and measures as necessary in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. It is important to do so during this time, due to the uncertainty of the pandemic ceasing to exist.