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Doctors battle ivermectin misinformation

Published: Sep. 19, 2021 at 12:15 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -Ivermectin is commonly used to kill parasites on horses, but now doctors are having people ask them if it can be used to treat COVID-19.

They’re not recommending it for anyone, but worry misinformation is the reason people are trying it as a cure.

According to Dr. Devin Reichmuth with Bryan Health, ivermectin is used as a way to potentially kill parasites attached to horses. When people ask if it can be used for COVID, he said “This is a virus so there’s just zero biological plausibility for why this would work.”

Dr. Reichmuth said the idea of using ivermectin to either treat, or combat COVID-19, has taken a life of its own. He said there’s a lot of misinformation about in and the main source is social media.

“A platform for a lot of misinformation and disinformation about this treatment and I think its one group in particular that is putting a false narrative on it for what it can do and not do for COVID,” said Dr. Reichmuth.

While he hasn’t been told by anyone about them taking ivermectin, some patients are asking if it’s a good treatment. This includes one patient he spoke to this week.

“I just talked through it with them and he was appreciative of that and again he was getting his information from somewhere that is less than scientific reputable sources,” said Dr. Reichmuth.

Bryan Health is currently working to combat misinformation about ivermectin. They even posted to social media this week informing people about deleting comments from Facebook that are not true about ivermectin.

Nebraska pharmacy groups and other national infectious disease groups are also doing work on their end.

“Pharmacies are starting to not fill those prescriptions of ivermectin cause we know they’re harmful,” said Dr. Reichmuth.

Dr. Reichmuth is pleading with people to go to reputable sources like your local health care provider about effective ways to combat COVID-19. Right now, he said the best thing to do is get a COVID-19 vaccine.

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