Ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug typically used on horses, has became falsely known as a COVID-19 therapy.

By Samir Ferdowsi

People are still taking a dangerous drug meant to kill worms in farm animals in an attempt to cure COVID-19—even after months of doctors and public health officials warning them to stop.

The drug is Ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug typically used on horses, and it became falsely known as a COVID-19 therapy when conspiracy groups started swearing by its use as a self-treatment drug. Late last year, the Dr. Pierre Kory, founder of the outspoken Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance, called it  a “wonder drug” and pushed officials to authorize its use against the pandemic. 

The latest hospitalizations include a Missouri man who was admitted to a state hospital after taking animal-grade ivermectin. His condition is unknown, but doctors confirmed he was hospitalized for ivermectin toxicity, according to the Mississippi Free Press

Following the poisoning, Mississippi State Health officials held an online conference meant to educate the public and emphasized that people should not take medicine meant for farm animals to self-treat COVID-19.

“You know, for the life of me, I don’t get it,” said MSDH Communications Director Liz Sharlot. “You have a vaccine that’s safe and effective. And yet people, as opposed to getting the vaccine, want to go after these kinds of things.”

Ivermectin can be purchased at animal feed stores and online shops like TractorSupply.com. It’s been flaunted as a “cure-all” to COVID-19 in conspiracy groups. In some cases, people are taking it as a preventative measure. 

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