Animal Dewormed For Covid? Poison Control Centers See An Increase In Calls, And Shops Run Out Of Supplies

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : August 27, 2021

Although the Food and Medication Administration issued a warning, individuals continue to use a cattle deworming drug they think will cure COVID-19 despite the agency’s caution. Increasing numbers of calls have been received by poison control centers throughout the country about the drug ivermectin, an anti-parasitic medication that is often used to treat cattle and pigs.

Animal Dewormed For Covid? Poison Control Centers See An Increase In Calls, And Shops Run Out Of Supplies

During an interview, Gaylord Lopez, executive director of the Georgia Poison Control Center, said that the center has already received 15 to 16 calls in August, as opposed to the usual one contact per month.

Animal Dewormed For Covid? Poison Control Centers See An Increase In Calls, And Shops Run Out Of Supplies

Lopez said that one lady contacted the center after buying the sheep version but that she had no adverse reactions to it. In addition, he said that others had contacted the service and reported severe symptoms ranging from acute vomiting to impaired eyesight, among others. Last week, the Georgia Poison Control Center got phone calls first from Alabama Poison Control Center, who inquired as to whether the Georgia center was also receiving complaints regarding ivermectin poisoning. “The message is consistent across the organization. Lopez was adamant about not using it.

If administered in tablet form, the medication can be used to treat parasites in people, and also the National Institutes of Health is also sponsoring a study of pharmaceuticals, including ivermectin, to see if they have promise for use in the treatment of COVID-19. People are at risk of poisoning from the cattle version, which many people are rushing to buy, as per the Mississippi State Department of Health, since it is extremely concentrated and poisonous. Concerns over inappropriate use of the cattle version also prompted the Food and Drug Administration to issue a public warning against the use of ivermectin to cure or prevent COVID-19.

“You are not a horse in any way. You are not a cow in any way. Seriously, however, y’all.” This is what the federal agency’s Twitter account said on Saturday, according to the account. In Florida, a spokesperson from the Jacksonville region of the Florida Poison Control Center said that the number of calls for cattle medication had risen throughout the whole state. Since the start of August, the state has got 27 calls, up from 11 in July. Prior to that, the center had received six calls since the beginning of January. So far this year, there have been 150 calls to Texas Poison Control Center concerning ivermectin poisoning, with 55 of such calls coming in the last month alone.

Stuart Heard, executive director for California’s Poison Control System, said that calls about the substance have been consistent over the last year, with 25 percent of calls relating to COVID-19 being linked to the medication in question. Heard said that they had advised them not to do so. Some Tractor Supply Co. shops throughout the country are out of ivermectin in injectable form, according to the company’s website. Others have said that they are experiencing a shortage of supplies. A location in Texas said that they would not be able to provide any for many months owing to a lack of supplies. 

Another location from Southern California said that they were storing the medication in the back of the shop and keeping an eye on it, owing to an increase in the number of individuals attempting to use it on themselves in the last few months. In Oklahoma, five of the six shops that were contacted by the media reported that they were out of stock. Lopez said that it “surprises me” when individuals refuse to take a vaccination but would take a substance intended for cows or sheep instead of the vaccine.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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