“I would certainly strongly recommend that people not take any medication from a pet food store or veterinary source,” Mississippi health official Dr. Thomas Dobbs said on Wednesday in a COVID-19 briefing. . ” It can be dangerous. “
Ivermectin is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat humans with intestinal complications caused by parasitic worms and for topical use to treat conditions such as head lice and rosacea. The drug is also commonly used to prevent heartworm and other parasites in animals. Ivermectin is not approved or recommended by the FDA to treat or prevent COVID-19 in humans.
In March, the FDA issued a warning against using the drug for COVID-19 treatment.
“Never use medicine intended for animals on yourself,” reads the advisory. “Ivermectin preparations for animals are very different from those approved for humans. ”
Side effects associated with taking ivermectin include rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, swelling of the face or limbs, dizziness, seizures, sudden drop in blood blood pressure, coma and even death, reports the FDA.
Of the people who called the Mississippi Poison Control Center, 85% had mild symptoms and no hospitalizations were associated with ingesting the drug, according to the health department alert. A resident was asked to request further assessment because of the amount of ivermectin he had ingested.
“You wouldn’t get your medical treatment, you wouldn’t get your chemotherapy from a grocery store,” Dobbs said. “I mean, you wouldn’t treat your pneumonia with your pet’s medication. Taking the wrong doses of medication can be dangerous, especially for something intended for a horse or cow. “
The health worker urged individuals to work with their primary care physicians and recommended that eligible residents get vaccinated with one of three vaccines approved for emergency use by the FDA: Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna.
Mississippi, which has the second-lowest vaccination rate in the country, is in the midst of a record-breaking fourth wave as the Delta variant spreads across the state. As of Thursday afternoon, 5,048 new cases of COVID-19 had been reported in the state, according to data from its Department of Health, and only 8.25% of intensive care unit beds are available nationwide. State. Of these intensive care beds, 59.87% are used to treat patients with COVID-19.
“We are clearly at the worst time of the pandemic that we have seen throughout, and it continues to get worse,” Dobbs said.
He issued an order on Friday that threatened fines and / or jail time for residents diagnosed with the virus who do not self-isolate at home.