A scientist from Bath has backed the use of an existing malaria drug to treat coronavirus.
Last month, Dr Tess Lawrie, 53, sent evidence from experts across the globe to the World Health Organisation, showing how the medicine could help fight the disease.
Ivermectin is a Nobel Prize-winning drug that has been used as a treatment for diseases caused by parasites, such as malaria. It is widely available across the world, very safe and cheap to produce.
Dr Lawrie and a panel of scientists from across the world have discovered how it can “substantially” reduce deaths from Covid and “significantly” reduce the risk of infection.
The Bath scientist said: “My role has just been to put together the data from trials conducted by dedicated clinicians working mainly in low-resource settings.
“I take my hat off to them for being able to do such valuable research in extremely difficult circumstances.
“When you look at the big picture, which includes evidence from 21 randomised control trials and countless observational and country case-studies, it’s clear that ivermectin could significantly reduce the impact of Covid-19 in the UK.
“Other countries are already benefitting from its use. Let’s hope our government will give this safe and cheap drug a go too.”
A couple, who were suffering from coronavirus, tried the drug to see if would help.
They said: “So we started taking Ivermectin yesterday morning and by the evening were feeling markedly better and today most of our horrible symptoms are gone, after 2 weeks of no change.
“We are so grateful to our doctor for giving us a bottle from her family stash. It’s criminal that it’s not freely available.”
Last month, a group of 65 doctors and scientists from 16 countries met over Zoom to discuss how the drug could be used to fight the virus.
They called themselves the BIRD (British Ivermectin Recommendation Development) panel.
The experts looked at the evidence and decided to recommend ivermectin for the “prevention and treatment” of coronavirus.
They said it could be used “to reduce morbidity” associated with Covid and “to prevent… infection among those at higher risk”.
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