Dobbs: Ivermectin has developed a ‘weird cult following’
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said Ivermectin, a drug that some tout as a cure for COVID-19, has developed a “weird cult following,” despite the fact that the science shows it doesn’t work.
Dobbs spoke Friday during the weekly question and answer session hosted by the Mississippi State Medical Association.
He was asked about Ivermectin in the light of Joe Rogan’s announcement that he had used the drug after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Rogan told his followers on Wednesday that he had contracted the virus, according to NBC news.
The famous podcaster said he had been prescribed Ivermectin and received monoclonal antibodies as part of his treatment regimen.
“This week he came down with COVID, so he talked about what he did, and he said, ‘I took a lot of vitamins. I took some infusions and I took monoclonal antibodies...’ and he took Ivermectin,” said Mark Horne, MSMA’s immediate past president. “Of all the things he took... He took zinc, he took vitamins... Where is the best data for what helped him get better faster?”
Horne said Rogan reported that after by the third day of treatment, the popular entertainer, host and commentator felt back to normal.
Dobbs, who doesn’t know Rogan, was pleased he was treated with monoclonals.
He said Rogan has likely recovered as a result of the monoclonals and because he took the virus seriously. “One of the things I think is very important about this story is he was scared of COVID,” Dobbs said. “Apparently, he had not been vaccinated, by all accounts... And that’s wise, to be scared of COVID.”
Dobbs went on to say that he was pleased Rogan took monoclonals and urged anyone who is diagnosed with the virus to look into the treatment option.
“We’ve had huge success with monoclonal antibody treatments. If you’re diagnosed with COVID check out getting monoclonal antibodies,” he said. “We gave well over 8,000 doses last week.”
Dobbs believes Ivermectin has gained a “weird cult following,” even though data shows the drug is not effective in treating coronavirus.
Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug used to treat certain roundworm infections in humans and animals, according to WebMD.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned the public against taking Ivermectin, in part, because it had not been approved for use in preventing or treating the virus.
FDA also warns that taking the drug in large doses can be dangerous.
Call logs obtained by WLBT showed that 17 people had called the Mississippi Poison Control Center after taking the drug in the first 23 days of August.
Dobbs, meanwhile, says the science doesn’t support its use for the COVID virus.
“With the Ivermectin thing, and we can get into the details of it, the data is really soft,” he said. “If look at the data and look at the science, in the randomized control trials that look at monoclonal antibodies, they are phenomenally successful - 80 to 90 percent reduction in hospitalizations and they save lives.
“In what randomized control trials we have of Ivermectin, it shows they don’t work. If we try one drug and it shows it doesn’t work, and we try one drug and it shows it works, I want to use the drug that works,” Dobbs added. “I’m not picking on folks for doing it or for doctors prescribing it... but the data’s not there.”
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