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Strange but true: Lice medicine now being studied as coronavirus treatment

During our nearly year-long struggle with the coronavirus, we’ve debated the merits of hydroxychloroquine, zinc, ultraviolet light, Vitamin D, vaccines, and even, per CNN commentator Chris Cuomo’s wife, bleach baths as potential treatments.

Now, there’s a new kid on the science block.

Ivermectin, which is used to treat head lice in people, is being touted as an effective and – better yet – cost-effective way to defeat the virus.

Andrew Hill, a virologist at Liverpool University in Britain, called the lice medication a potentially “transformational treatment” for COVID after a study indicated it slashed virus deaths in hospitals by 80 percent, compared to patients who did not receive the drug. The study found that just eight out of 573 patients who received ivermectin died after receiving it, compared to 44 of 510 who passed away while on a placebo.

Ivermectin costs between $17 and $43 per dose, according to the New York Post.

The study has not been peer-reviewed yet.

But ivermectin’s potential as a virus cure was discussed in an Australian study nine months.

There, scientists found that it blocked COVID’s RNA from penetrating healthy cells and eradicated it within 48 hours of being administered.

The vaccines currently being distributed operate from a similar principle regarding RNA, or ribonucleic acid.

As researchers at the University of Rochester explained, COVID’s genetic material is encoded in RNA, and once inside the body, it attaches to cells and fools them into believing its RNA is actually that produced by our DNA.

The vaccines fight this not by stimulating our immune system to recognize and battle a virus, as vaccines have traditionally done, but by teaching the cells what the viral RNA looks like and blocking it. These treatments were the first to be based on RNA technology, and the distinction is that people don’t actually have to receive the thing that could make them sick in order to fight it.

While ivermectin might be the temporary rage in Britain and Australia, it’s not so much at the headquarters of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA, at an FAQ page on its website regarding ivermectin, casts the same stink eye on the drug that liberals did on hydroxychloroquine when President Donald Trump pumped up its potential.

“While there are approved uses for ivermectin in people and animals, it is not approved for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. You should not take any medicine to treat or prevent COVID-19 unless it has been prescribed to you by your health care provider and acquired from a legitimate source. … Additional testing is needed to determine whether ivermectin might be appropriate to prevent or treat coronavirus or COVID-19.”

“Some of the side-effects that may be associated with ivermectin include skin rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, facial or limb swelling, neurologic adverse events (dizziness, seizures, confusion), sudden drop in blood pressure, severe skin rash potentially requiring hospitalization and liver injury (hepatitis),” the FDA continues. “We continue to support clinical trials that are testing new treatments for COVID so that we can gain valuable knowledge about their safety and effectiveness.”

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