It’s a loathsome disease.
It causes incessant itching, and sufferers often scratch their skin with a stick or rock until they bleed.
Fast-flowing rivers and streams, often sources of fresh water for remote villages, provide the perfect breeding ground for black flies. The bite of a black fly transmits a larval worm. As the worms multiply, they burrow under the skin.
As miserable as it is, it is not the itching that gives this horrid disease its name.
The worms eventually migrate to the eyes, causing infection and inflammation of the corneas and destroying vision.
River blindness debilitates, but it doesn’t kill. River blindness spreads its misery in tropical countries, primarily in Africa. More than 99% of river blindness cases are in Africa.
In the early 1980s, researchers discovered a powerful anti-parasitic compound in a dirt sample dug up near a golf course in Tokyo. The compound proved to be a powerful treatment for parasites in livestock, and a version was developed to combat the misery of parasitic infections in humans, including river blindness.
In 2015, Satoshi Omura and William Campbell shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovery of this drug, capable of preventing so much human misery.
The drug? Ivermectin.
Somewhere amid all the noise of our almost two-year pandemic, Ivermectin found its moment of fame as one of a few “preventatives” and/or “treatments” for COVID-19 that the medical establishment “doesn’t want us to know about.”
“What are they trying to hide?” they say. “It’s a Nobel Prize-winning drug,” they argue.
But instead of doctor-prescribed human-sized doses, Ivermectin paste, intended for livestock, is flying off the shelves of feed stores and farm suppliers. Poison control centers and emergency rooms are inundated: nausea, vomiting, hallucinations, blurred vision, low blood pressure, seizures, coma, death.
And even in human-sized dosages, Ivermectin treats parasitic worms and arthropods, not viruses.
Despite these facts, Ivermectin is touted as both a preventative and a cure by political pundits and politicians, on YouTube channels, and by the “Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance”, a small group of doctors who disagree with the wider medical community.
So why the hype?
Early in the pandemic, a study found that Ivermectin inhibited the growth of SARS-CoV-2 in cell cultures (in Petri dishes, in a lab).
Not so fast.
In order to achieve the dosage of Ivermectin used in the Petri dish experiment in actual humans, the concentration would have to be a dose 100 times higher than is approved for use in humans – a toxic level.
Multiple studies followed: is Ivermectin effective as a preventative? Does it reduce COVID-19 symptoms? Does it reduce death or severe disease? Does it prevent hospitalization?
To date, 16 randomized-controlled trials found NO evidence that Ivermectin is effective in any way against COVID-19. None.
You know what does prevent severe disease? Vaccination.
Epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina said it best:
Misinformation and anti-science rhetoric is killing Americans.