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Dozens of messages posted on Facebook since last February 15 ensure that the World Health Organization “recognizes the effectiveness of ivermectin as a treatment for covid.” The publications are accompanied by an image that shows the conclusions of a study in this regard, along with the phrase “WHO had to change negative recommendations it made to ivermectin.” However, the institution warns that there is still a lack of evidence on the effectiveness of this drug against covid-19 and the same analysis cited in the publications concludes that trials are lacking.
“WHO RECOGNIZES EFFECTIVENESS OF IVERMECTIN AS A TREATMENT FOR COVID. One of the important conclusions is that this drug eliminates the virus quickly, thus also increasing the recovery rate of those infected ”, wrote users who shared a screenshot more than 5,000 times (1, 2, 3) on Facebook.
In this image you can read: “Dr. Andrew Hill, a WHO consultant, publishes the results of his meta-analysis of 18 internationally randomized controlled studies (2,282 patients) “. The content also reached the WhatsApp by AFP Factual for your analysis.
The conclusions of the study are also added: “75% reduction in mortality. Lower hospitalization rates. Shorter duration of hospitalization. Higher rates of clinical recovery. Faster viral shedding time “. Then at the bottom it says: “WHO HAD TO CHANGE NEGATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT IT MADE TO IVERMECTIN.”
AFP Factual Googled “Gunter Callata Ivermectina“, arriving to is video posted on February 12 on Facebook. There, the Peruvian internist Gunter Callata Cáceres exposes some of the studies on ivermectin and exhibits, among others, the sheet that went viral on social networks (5’19 ”). However, the image there does not say that the WHO changed its recommendations in this regard.
Still under study
Ivermectin is a antiparasitic drug generally used in animals and also has a human formula.
In April 2020 A study determined that it can inhibit the replication of this virus in vitro, that is, in the laboratory and not in a living organism.
With these results, they applied a clinical study about 280 people infected with covid-19, concluding that the use of this antiparasitic reduced mortality, but they warned that “These findings need to be further evaluated with randomized controlled trials.”
Likewise, the scientific journal The Lancet published this other study on January 19, 2021, where the ivermectin supply was tested on 24 patients with non-serious covid-19 pictures and without risk factors. Half of the group received the drug, and the other half a placebo. The authors observed that when applying this drug in the first 72 hours after symptoms were detected, there was a tendency to reduce cough and viral load, “Which warrants an evaluation in larger trials”they point out.
AFP Factual asked the press officers of the World Health Organization (WHO) if it had recognized the effectiveness of ivermectin against covid-19, as suggested by publications on social networks.
In this regard, one of those in charge assured that the WHO currently counts 82 trials on ivermectin, of which only nine are published. However, the institution has not made any recommendation on ivermectin in relation to its treatment against covid-19, but ensures that it is closely following research on this drug and its potential use:
In addition, on February 15, the WHO conducted a Press conference where a journalist consulted about ivermectin and its use against covid-19. In this regard, the doctor and technical advisor of the WHO Maria Van Kerkhove responded that a team is looking at data from all studies that have evaluated the use of this drug against the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2: “Some of these studies have small samples and the idea is to group them in a meta-analysis (…) and thus evaluate the certainties, benefits and risks.”
Then, he added that in about six weeks they would publish a guide on its use.
On the other hand, on January 22, the WHO shared on Facebook and Twitter a denial about the verified posts in this note:
Andrew Hill’s analysis
In the published publications a study on ivermectin published by Andrew Hill is mentioned.
When googling “Andrew Hill + ivermectin” could be found this post of January 19, 2021, which consists of an analysis of 18 studies that have evaluated the use of this antiparasitic as a possible treatment for covid-19.
This analysis was carried out by Andrew Hill, researcher at the Department of Pharmacology and Treatments at the University of Liverpool. There, he concludes that in some of the studies analyzed, its use reduced mortality in certain cases, as well as the length of hospitalization.
However, in the same study Hill adds that there was a great variation between the standards used in each particular study, such as the doses applied and the duration of treatment. It also states:
Also, the study notes that it has not been peer-reviewed and cannot be used as a clinical guide.
AFP Factual has previously published several verifications on the supposed effectiveness of ivermectin, where several experts conclude that although there are ongoing studies, more solid evidence is still lacking (1, 2, 3).
*This verification was carried out based on the scientific and official information on the new coronavirus available as of the date of this publication.