Ivermectin is still not a miracle cure for COVID-19, despite what you may have read

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The head lice drug ivermectin has yet again been touted in the media as a possible treatment for COVID-19. But despite the favourable headlines, huge uncertainty remains about whether this treatment can be safely and effectively repurposed to tackle the coronavirus.

In recent weeks the media has been awash with claims ivermectin, when given in combination with the common antibiotic doxycycline and zinc supplements, is effectively a “cure” for COVID-19.

Yet there has been no definitive clinical trial so far showing this is the case. All we have are observational studies and clinicians’ opinions.

The World Health Organisation’s database of clinical studies for COVID-19 shows there are currently 16 trials investigating ivermectin. Even these studies are unlikely to provide the high-quality data necessary to show ivermectin can actually provide its touted benefits.

The UK Mutation Is A Warning to the US

A new strain of the virus causing COVID-19 appeared in the UK in September. By mid-November the new variety of SARS-CoV-2 appeared in ¼ of new cases. Now in December, that portion is much larger at over 60% of new cases. The change left Prime Minister Boris Johnson little choice but to restrict movement over Christmas.

It’s a warning that Americans should heed. Had Johnson acted swiftly and controlled the virus versus allowing uncontrolled spread, UK citizens might have had a very different Christmas.