Mississippi Health Department officials have released a plea for people to stop taking ivermectin, a deworming medicine intended for horses and cows.
The department formally issued a warning after reports of a sharp surge in calls to poison control centres from people who had ingested the drug, which is used to control parasites in livestock.
“Do not use ivermectin products made for animals” warned the Mississippi Health Department on Facebook. “Animal drugs are highly concentrated for large animals and can be highly toxic in humans. Do NOT take drugs made for animals in any form.”
Vaccine sceptics in the States have been touting the drug, which is available over the counter from feed stores, as a Covid preventative, despite it being dangerous for humans to take, and there being no evidence for its use to fight Covid.
The only study suggesting ivermectin could be effective against Covid was swiftly discredited and withdrawn, while the Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, World Health Organization, and Merck, a company that produces the drug, have all advised against humans taking the drug.
Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs addressed the trend in a press conference, saying: “I think some people are trying to use it as a [Covid} preventative, which I think is really kind of crazy, so please don’t do that.”
“You wouldn’t get your chemotherapy at a feed store. I mean, you wouldn’t treat your pneumonia with your animal’s medication,” he added.
“It can be dangerous to get the wrong doses of medication, especially for something that’s meant for a horse or a cow. We understand the environment we live in, but it’s really important, if people have medical needs, go through your physician or provider.”
On Saturday, the FDA took to Twitter and got straight to the point.
“You are not a horse. You are not a cow” they posted. “Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”
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