State and federal government agencies issued warnings this week not to takeivermectin — a pill to treat parasites — as a coronavirus cure or preventionfor pets or people.

Ivermectin is the latest drug making the social and mainstream media rounds inthe fight against the pandemic after its mention in studies, but in the US theMichigan departments of agriculture and health and human services are warningagainst its use — or promotion.

“We cannot emphasize this strongly enough: this study was not tested in humansor in animals,” State Veterinarian Nora Wineland said Wednesday. “Asintriguing as the results may be, at this point, they mean little to nothingin the actual prevention or treatment of COVID-19 in either animals orhumans.”

The fear is that people may attempt to purchase the drug on the black marketor attempt to take a version of it that is prescribed for pets for theprevention of heartworm disease and to treat parasites.

It also is sometimes used to treat head lice and scabies, microscopic mitesthat live on the skin.

Last year, prisoners at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility inPittsfield Township were treated with ivermectin for scabies.

Other drugs that are being looked and tested to fight against the pandemicinclude remdesivir, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, and azithromycin,according to the pharmaceutical publication Laboratory Equipment.

However, there is no approved preventative medicine for coronavirus.

“We understand Michiganders’ concerns about COVID-19 and the desire to find acure quickly,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executiveand chief deputy for health. “However, there are no approved preventivemedications for COVID-19 in humans, and we do not want anyone being harmed bytaking medications inappropriately.”

She added that staying home, washing hands frequently, wearing a homemade maskif you go out, and covering coughs and sneezes are the best ways to slow thespread of the deadly virus.

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