Could Ivermectin Help End the COVID-19 Pandemic?June 06, 2021
Could Ivermectin Help End the COVID Pandemic?
This ivermectin story has actually got legs to it. If you want to take the full dive, listen to Dr. Pierre Kory's full podcast, done June 1. He is one of America's premier pulmonary/critical care doctors on account of having published more studies than anyone else, but also because he was at St. Luke's, Milwaukee, right here in our hometown.
But here is the story. You see if it has credibility.
The story might begin in Peru. COVID was winning! Hospitals were being flooded with COVID patients. Vaccines were not available. Peru started using Ivermectin and fatalities dropped dramatically. They reported this in April this year. In brief summary, their mortality dropped 74% in a month when ivermectin was used, starting about 10 days after they started using ivermectin broadly in multiple provinces. That took bold initiative on the part of public health workers and elected officials.
Or we could look at Africa. Ivermectin has been used widely in Africa to treat river blindness (onchocerciasis), to great success. There are wide swaths of Africa where folks are taking ivermectin weekly to prevent onchocerciasis. Guess what the statisticians tell us about why COVID has not affected Africa like it has the rest of the world? Bingo: the data shows a protective effect despite the huge challenges of measuring COVID in poverty-ravaged areas. Taking ivermectin appears to be protective against getting COVID.
Take the story of Mexico. In crisis over COVID with its ICU's full, it started using Ivermectin. Test positive and you and everyone in your family get ivermectin, even before you get sick. Mexico's current COVID situation is with ICU beds at 80% empty and the country back on its feet having an election.
There are some 30+ studies. For example, a small study in Egypt at Zagazig University. Of 204 subjects in the treatment, (all had one family member test positive for COVID) only 7.4% developed the disease. The untreated control group had 58% develop the disease. It's a small study, done outside the USA. It was not published in a major US journal. It wasn't randomized, but it did have a control group. Is it valid?
How about India, where it is now being used in some states despite WHO saying not to? But the government of India has now cautiously endorsed its use. COVID in India is exploding because of crowding, poverty, lack of vaccine...they seem to recognize the crisis and the need for decisive new approaches.
You get the idea. We have a world at war with a virus. We have a drug that is cheap, widely available, tiny toxicity profile, long history of safe use and with many studies showing efficacy of one degree or another, and few clinical trials. We know ivermectin has an effect on viruses. There is actually quite a robust literature on it. It works in viruses by "inhibiting recognition of the nuclear localizing... integrase protein by the host heterodimeric importin (IMP) α/β1 complex, and has since been shown to bind directly to IMPα to induce conformational changes that prevent its normal function in mediating nuclear import of key viral and host proteins". Did you get that? But do we have a "large, statistically powered study" to prove it? No, and we never will. It is too cheap. There is no profit incentive and in America, our health care system runs on a corporate profit model, not a public health model.
What is the reason for the silence around using it? What is the "hidden force" behind the scenes preventing our using it? Why don't we have a proper, randomized, placebo-controlled trial being conducted in America, if it shows such promise in multiple places all over the world? Hmmm. You might find Merck's comment instructive. Even WHO is being cautious. The FDA does not appear to be enthusiastic either, specifically stating it is NOT approved for use in humans with COVID.
www.What will Work for me. If I were "in charge", I would make the proper study of ivermectin the highest priority. In a war you need many tools to attack the enemy. And you don't put false arguments out there about "not being studied". In World War II, we never had a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of parachutes prior to D-Day. We just used them after the first demonstration that one worked. They didn't work perfectly, but those early parachutes helped win D-Day and Omaha Beach. My editorial comment is the following. Our health system is sadly broken and focused on profit and shackled by economic interests. This drug is a tool with promise that might serve us well, as part of our armamentarium. I'm writing to my elected officials asking them to please advocate for a study of the drug. You won't get immunity from taking it. That comes only with having the disease, or getting vaccinated. The track record of the vaccine has now been long enough that we can be pretty confident there won't be mystery side effects "sometime in the future". Some side effects would have happened already, and have not been observed. Our elected officials would generate more trust and credibility if they found a way to study this drug instead of stubbornly resisting it.
1. What is the way to move the needle towards action in America? Answer: all of us writing to our elected officials. Make a politcal noise, peacefully. Please write today.
2. Can you explain how ivermectin works? Answer. Well, its complicated but you can simplify it to say the virus hijacks some proteins. Ivermectin blocks the hijacking.
3. Are you immune to COVID if you take ivermectin? Answer: No. We don't know that yet.
4. If you take ivermectin once a week to prevent river blindness, what are your chances of getting COVID? Answer. Very, very, very low.
5. What is ivermectin used for that is in your home already? Answer: look at the heartworm package for your dog. It might be ivermectin, right in your dog medicine cabinet.