While the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic continues around the world, many countries still lack adequate supplies of vaccines. However, even in Israel, which has the highest vaccination rates in the world, doctors are looking ahead and attempting to find treatments that will address the possibility of future mutations and help countries that lack the necessary funds to purchase large stocks of vaccines.
According to a new study conducted at Sheba’s Center for Travel Medicine and Tropical Disease, one viable and readily available treatment option can be found in Ivermectin, a broad-spectrum antiparasitic agent, most commonly used in developing countries. The study, directed by Prof. Eli Schwartz, indicated that Ivermectin reduces the duration of COVID-19 infection.
According to Prof. Schwartz: “We decided to go for Ivermectin because we knew its safety profile well … I decided to test it on patients during the early stages of the disease, to see if it can act a bit like a vaccine and shorten or prevent the contagious stage, and thus break the transmission chain and shorten the isolation period … the study showed that Ivermectin really acted well and shortened the contagious period … The results are very encouraging, and indicate that the drug has antiviral effects.”