Doctor, Ky. farmer question using livestock medication as COVID treatment

Kentucky

(WEHT)- Old McDonald had a farm and down on the farm in Henderson County, Kentucky, Kevin Martin has Ivermectin.

Martin says the drug is effective to deworm livestock and drive flies away from his cattle, but how did the livestock farming staple end up causing a spike in poison control calls from people with COVID-19 symptoms in Mississippi and Arkansas?

Doctor David Schultz says despite having “legitimate and FDA-approved treatments” for COVID-19, some people are instead looking at non-traditional uses for medications like Ivermectin.

Dr. Schultz explains the drug does have some uses for humans as an anti-parasitic medication and a treatment for Scabies but not for viruses like COVID-19.

While Dr. Schultz says the data is inconclusive as to whether Ivermectin actually works or has an impact on COVID-19 patients, he says taking the drug–especially one meant for livestock–can bring dangerous side effects.

According to Doctor Schultz, decreased levels of red blood cells, increased liver enzymes, and potential interactions with other medications are all possible.

As someone who regularly works with the medication, Kevin Martin says he can’t understand why someone would intentionally take Ivermectin themselves. Martin says he even wears nitrate gloves to prevent it from getting on his hands.

Martin says people should read the instructions and use Ivermectin as prescribed for livestock. Dr. Schultz says people who want a safe, proven means of preventing the virus should opt for the COVID-19 vaccine.

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