On October 12th in the interests of combatting “misinformation” about Covid-19 Alberta Health Services issued a bulletin on its website entitled: Ivermectin: A useful drug, but not a treatment for COVID-19. In keeping with Canada’s moribund political culture this was dutifully endorsed by Premier Jason Kenney on social media. Mr Kenney and the AHS are entitled to their opinion about the efficacy of Ivermectin as a Covid-19 treatment for that is all it is – an opinion. In fact, there is strong circumstantial evidence that Ivermectin is effective as not just a treatment, but also as a prophylaxis against the disease of which two examples of many will suffice.
Uttar Pradesh (UP) is the most populous state in India with a population at the last census (2011) of just under two hundred million crammed into an area about half the size of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is the second poorest state in that country with a per capita GDP of less than $1000 USD per annum. Like the rest of India, UP was ravaged by the Covid wave that struck that country in early April of this year as the more easily transmissible Delta variant took hold. Vaccines were not available, and India faced a public health catastrophe.
In desperation the UP state government sent teams of medical workers to go door to door offering rapid antigen tests, and early treatment for those infected using simple home medical kits with readily available off-patent drugs including Ivermectin. Treatment was offered not only to those suffering from Covid but to their immediate families as well. The case-rate in the state dropped as quickly as it had risen and UP is now essentially free of Covid-19. This past Sunday, 17th October, there were at total of five new cases in UP and under two hundred cases in total. The state has not registered a Covid-19 death since mid-September.
By comparison, the heavily vaccinated United Kingdom with a population a third the size of UP and immeasurably wealthier is currently experiencing over 40,000 daily new cases. Alberta, with a population of only about four million registered over six thousand new Covid cases in the week ending 14th of October.
Contrary to media mythmaking, Ivermectin is not primarily an animal de-wormer. In the past 40 years nearly four billion doses have been administered, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa to combat parasitic diseases such as River Blindness and Elephantiasis. It is widely distributed in a majority of African countries. If Ivermectin is effective against Covid, you would expect to see it manifested in those countries where it is regularly distributed as an anti-parasitic treatment. Indeed, a comparative analysis recently conducted by Japanese researchers and awaiting peer review suggests a strong correlation between Ivermectin use and low Covid case and mortality rates.
I can personally testify to the effectiveness of Ivermectin as a Covid-19 treatment. It cured my wife. Earlier this summer my wife and I both contracted Covid-19. I had an extremely mild case – the only definitive Covid symptom being the loss of my sense of smell. My wife was not so fortunate. She developed a continuous and nasty cough, suffered fever, and headaches that she describes as not aches so much as stabbing pains. She also lost both her senses of taste and smell. A week after first developing symptoms, she was in a pretty bad state. I contemplated taking her to hospital.
A friend of hers had obtained a supply of Ivermectin and sent us enough for a few days’ treatment. My wife took it at the recommended dosing level and the effect was positive, and rapid. The stabbing pains in her head, and the fever disappeared, and incredibly her senses of taste and smell returned within 24 hours of the first dose (by comparison, it took about a week after I officially recovered for my sense of smell to return). While her cough persisted for several weeks, it too lessened after her initial treatment. Both of us are convinced that it was the Ivermectin which turned the tide against the disease.
Rather than railing against what may be an effective treatment and prophylaxis against Covid, Mr. Kenney and the AHS would do well to take the initiative and make it easier for Albertans to access Ivermectin if they so choose. Governments all over the world have been quick to extend legal immunity to the manufacturers of the various experimental vaccines deployed in the fight against Covid. Similar protections should be extended to Alberta’s doctors and pharmacists if they choose to treat the disease with Ivermectin or other readily available pharmaceuticals.
Ivermectin’s safety profile is well established due to four decades worth of data. The cost would be negligible, and Alberta could potentially bring clarity to the debate around Ivermectin’s efficacy as a Covid-19 treatment.
Drew Belobaba was born and raised in British Columbia. He studied History at Simon Fraser University and law at the University of Saskatchewan and has practiced law in both Saskatchewan and England. He lives in rural Somerset with his wife and three children.