The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of ivermectin as a treatment for arriving refugees to treat parasitic infections. But a social media post by Dr. Simone Gold, a proponent of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19, references the CDC guidance without accurately explaining the reason why refugees are given the drug. The CDC has warned against using ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19.
Ivermectin, an antiparasitic medication for humans and animals, has been a source of controversy in recent months as unfounded claims that the drug is an effective treatment for COVID-19 have gained traction online.
A recent Facebook post highlighted a tweet by Dr. Simone Gold, who has advocated the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19, saying that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “officially recommends administering ivermectin as presumptive therapy (giving medication without a diagnosis) to refugees.”
Gold continues: “The FDA approved it for human use in February 1996. The media’s claim that ivermectin is only a de-wormer for animals is a flat-out lie.”
But by failing to indicate why ivermectin is a recommended treatment for refugees, Gold may leave the false impression that the drug is being used to treat COVID-19.
In fact, some of the comments on the post indicate that readers did get that false impression. For instance, one person commented: “Why does the CDC care more about refugees than the American people?”
The CDC actually recommends ivermectin as a presumptive treatment for incoming refugees to fight parasitic infections, not COVID-19. The use of ivermectin is aimed at treating a disease called strongyloidiasis, caused by a common parasite, a roundworm, in refugees from Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and parts of Africa.
Ivermectin is approved for human use to treat some conditions caused by parasites, such as strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis, which is otherwise known as “river blindness.”
Ivermectin is not recommended by the CDC as a treatment for COVID-19. In fact, the CDC issued a health advisory on Aug. 26 warning against misusing ivermectin to either prevent or treat COVID-19.
“Adverse effects associated with ivermectin misuse and overdose are increasing, as shown by a rise in calls to poison control centers reporting overdoses and more people experiencing adverse effects,” the CDC advisory said.
Gold, who founded the organization America’s Frontline Doctors, has previously made misleading claims about COVID-19 treatments. As we’ve reported, Gold has touted hydroxychloroquine as a “cure” for COVID-19 despite the fact that randomized controlled trials have foundthe drug isn’t beneficial in treating hospitalized patients.
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