Health experts in Mississippi and the federal level are urging residents in the state not to ingest ivermectin to treat COVID-19. In case you wanna know what ivermectin is, it is a drug designed to treat illness in livestock—not humans.
According to NPR, the Mississippi Department of Health is getting lots of calls, at least 70 percent to its poison control center, over people falling ill to ingesting the drug to treat coronavirus. It is actually designed to rid cows and other animals of parasites and horses.
Mississippi has the second-lowest vaccination rate in the country; only Alabama has a lower rate. Folks are not taking the vaccine, but are taking this?
Dr. Paul Byers, the state’s top epidemiologist, wrote in a statement that ingesting the drug can lead to a rash, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, neurologic disorders and potentially severe hepatitis requiring hospitalization. Eighty-five percent of the folks calling in after using ivermectin had mild symptoms, but at least one resident had to be hospitalized, according to the Mississippi Free Press.
The Federal Drug Administration literally had to tweet that people are not animals.
“You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.” the tweet read.
Meanwhile, the FDA is trying to increase confidence in vaccines. Here is more on this story, per NPR:
The FDA has not approved ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19, but the vaccines have been proven to reduce the risk of serious illness or death dramatically. On Monday, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine became the first to receive full approval from the FDA.
“While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a statement.
Both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines remain available under emergency use authorization. The FDA is also reviewing a request from Moderna for full approval, and a decision is expected to come soon.
Public health officials are hopeful that full approval will boost confidence among those who have been hesitant to get the vaccine so far, something that Woodcock acknowledged Monday.
Meanwhile, the death rate connected to the Delta variant is so incredibly high that Mississippi has contracted 1,000 healthcare workers to relieve some 50 hospitals across the state. According to WAPT 16 ABC, the state reported 111 deaths. According to the news station, 41 of those deaths occurred between Aug. 19 and Aug. 23 and the remaining fatalities happened between June 25 and Aug. 20 and were identified from death certificates.
Also keep in mind that Gov. Tate Reeves has long gone out of his way to fight vaccine mandates and has only backtracked since COVID-19 rates in his state have skyrocketed. He is calling for people to take the vaccine, but refuses to require mask mandates.
Yeah, it is silly (and outright crazy and dangerous!) for folks to take drugs designed for livestock to treat COVID-19. But if you have a governor like Reeves, you are bound to have some confused (and dumb) people willing to do anything but follow sound medical advice.