Health officials warn against using anti-parasite medication for COVID as Utah confirms 1,326 new cases

An IverCare branded box containing a syringe of ivermectin – a drug used to kill worms and other parasites – intended only for horses is shown in Olympia, Wash. On September 10 for COVID-19 after a hospital treated a patient who suffered severe side effects. (Associated Press)

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SALT LAKE CITY – A Utah hospital recently treated a patient who took “large doses” of the anti-parasite drug ivermectin to treat COVID-19, health officials said in a nationwide warning on Tuesday.

“The patient suffered severe health effects,” said the Utah Department of Health.

The news comes as Utah continues to confirm high rates of new coronavirus cases on a daily basis. On Tuesday, the state health department confirmed 1,326 more cases and 25 deaths. The 7-day rolling average for positive tests is now 1,464 per day, and the percent positivity rate for those tested people is 13.8%.

“Ivermectin is not a COVID-19 drug. There is no data to suggest that this drug has any effect on COVID-19 infection. The continued promotion of the drug has resulted in more people buying and due to veterinary drugs hospitalized from side effects. ” taking the drug, “health officials said in a statement.

The Department of Health noted that the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Association of Poison Control Centers have seen an increase in calls “related to serious side effects from ivermectin.”

Dr. State epidemiologist Leisha Nolen urged doctors to “consider the harm they can cause” by delivering the drug to COVID-19 patients.

“While there is no data to show that it helps with COVID-19, there is very strong data to show that it can harm. I also encourage pharmacists to question any prescriptions for high dose ivermectin that is inappropriate for their customers, ”said Nolen.

The treatment has been touted by some doctors who have suggested alternative treatments for the disease. The controversial front line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance has proposed its use despite not being approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of COVID-19.

The Utah Poison Control Center has seen a 4.5 times higher rate of ivermectin exposures this year than last year, and exposures related to coronavirus treatment account for 56% of those exposures, according to a statement.

“Fifty percent of the people who called us after using ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19 received medical attention because of the exposure,” Amberly Johnson, director of the Utah Poison Control Center, said in the statement.

Those who have taken ivermectin and are concerned about side effects should call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. If it’s an emergency, call 911.

The drug is used to treat roundworm infections in humans. A higher-dose veterinary version of ivermectin is used to treat infections in horses and other animals and is “not safe for humans,” health officials said.

“The recent surge in reports of ivermectin abuse is worrying. The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food does not endorse the abuse of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 and encourages individuals to consult a qualified health care provider before undergoing treatment, ”says Dr. Dean Taylor, state veterinarian.

Latest Utah data

Of the cases reported Tuesday, 294 were confirmed as school-age children – 121 cases were 5 to 10 years old, 74 cases were 11 to 13 years old, and 99 cases were 14 to 17 years old, the Utah Department of Health said.

Healthcare workers have administered 9,764 vaccines since Monday’s report, bringing the total number of vaccinations administered in Utah to 3,399,468 doses, according to the data.

In the past 28 days, unvaccinated residents had a 5.9 times higher risk of dying from COVID-19, 7.2 times higher risk of being hospitalized for the coronavirus, and 6.6 times higher Risk of testing positive than vaccinated people, state health officials said in a statement.

As of February 1, unvaccinated residents have a 4.7 times higher risk of dying from COVID-19, 5.1 times higher risk of being hospitalized for the disease, and 4.4 times higher Risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than vaccinated people, data shows. These statistics change day by day as more and more people get vaccinated several months after they are made available to the public.

Since vaccines became available earlier this year, the state has confirmed at least 15,179 breakthrough cases, 803 breakthrough hospital admissions, and 92 breakthrough deaths. Breakthrough cases are considered to be when patients are fully vaccinated for the coronavirus more than two weeks before testing positive.

580 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized in Utah on Tuesday – an increase of three from the previous day. The state continues to have the highest daily numbers of hospitalized coronavirus patients. Referral intensive care units that can treat critically ill patients were 92.1% occupied with coronavirus patients and others; the total use of the intensive care unit was 90.8%; and non-intensive care units across the state were 58.7% occupied.

Deaths were reported on Tuesday, two of which occurred before September:

  • Box Elder County man aged 65 to 84 who was hospitalized after his death.
  • Davis County woman, 45-64, hospitalized.
  • Davis County man, 45-64, hospitalized.
  • Davis County man, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • A Duchesne County man older than 85 was not hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County woman, 85 years old who was a long-term care facility resident.
  • A woman from Salt Lake County, 65-84, a long-term care facility resident.
  • A Salt Lake County man, age 85, resident of a long-term care facility.
  • Three Salt Lake County men, 65-84, were hospitalized.
  • A Sanpete County man, 65-84, was hospitalized.
  • A man from Summit County, 45-64, hospitalized.
  • A Tooele County man, 25-44, was hospitalized.
  • A Tooele County man, older than 85, was not hospitalized.
  • Two Uintah County men, 25-44 years old, one in a long-term care facility and one hospitalized.
  • Two Utah County women, both over 85, one in long-term care and one in the hospital.
  • A Utah County man, older than 85, was hospitalized.
  • Two Washington County men, 45-64 years old, were both hospitalized.
  • A Washington County woman, 45-64, was hospitalized.
  • Two Weber County women, 65-84, one in long-term care and one hospitalized.

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