Horse Paste the New Snake Oil
As coronavirus infections rage among the unvaccinated, those suspicious of the shot are championing a new supposed COVID-19 cure. Thanks to a dubious study of ivermectin, a drug used in humans to treat parasites like scabies, cranks have seized on the drug as the new solution to coronavirus prevention and treatment.
Devotees have besieged pharmacists with prescriptions from shady online prescribers, forcing pharmacies to crack down and treat the antiparasitic drugs like opioids. As human-approved ivermectin prescriptions have been harder to come by, enthusiasts have taken to raiding rural tractor supply stores in search of ivermectin horse paste (packed with “apple flavor!”) and weighed the benefits of taking ivermectin “sheep drench” and a noromectin “injection for swine and cattle.”
“Personally I haven’t had this situation, but if I did, I would sneak horse paste into the hospital and would rub it into the armpit myself to save my loved one,” a member of an ivermectin Facebook group advised another.
“Data is just not good on ivermectin right now for the treatment of COVID. One of the drug manufacturers even said don’t use it,” Speights told the outlet. “Right now, the only answer to COVID is to be fully vaccinated.”
Misconceptions about the drug’s coronavirus healing abilities began to spread when a handful of studies found positive trends in patients after taking the drug, particularly one non-peer reviewed paper that said ivermectin can lower COVID-19 death rates by more than 90%.
That study has since been withdrawn from the research website following reports of plagiarism and data manipulation that “are now under formal investigation.”