NWR new zero tolerance covid thread

You’re comparison to Holland & Barret is idiotic. So I guess we will just have to disagree. But I’m glad the majority of people aren’t daft enough to try such a remedy and for those stupid enough to I hope it doesn’t cause them harm.

If you need to feel like you’re right as always that’s fine by me Gareth ;-).
 
But fundamentally, has any recognised medical authority recommended that Ivermectin is beneficial in terms of Covid-19?
There are all kinds of stories about of Ivermectin being approved for Covid-19 treatment. From what I can make out a report of Japan approving its use seems to have gotten the most traction. Some have made bold statements about Japan having reduced the number of Covid-19 cases due to replacing the use of the Moderna vaccine with the administration of Ivermectin. According to USA Today this story came about on the heels of a press conference on August 13th this year where Dr Haruo Ozaki, Chair of the Tokyo Medical Association recommended the use of Ivermectin at a press conference. However the medical association is not part of Japan's official regulatory authority. Meanwhile the Moderna vaccine was not halted, rather a faulty batch was withdrawn. It seems the promoters of Ivermectin exaggerate the facts while the opponents say it has been fact checked to be false. Like I've already said the real story, with its nuance, gets lost in the cultural and political wars.

Apparently Peru and Bolivia recommended the use of Ivermectin back in 2020. However one has to be careful of what one reads because the topic of Ivermectin has become so toxic (couldn't resist that) that it seems nobody is dispassionate and always seems to try and spin things a certain way. People are so triggered that the mere mention of the drug, in one way or another, elicits a backlash like response. If a person even so much as suggests it might prove to have benefits they are ponced upon as being irresponsible. On one side Ivermectin is talked about as some sort of a miraculous drug, which it isn't, and on the other side it seems deliberately portrayed as a fringe veterinary drug, which also isn't quite true. Ivermectin is the result of a collaboration between a Japanese scientist named Satoshi Nomura and William Campbell. it's a fascinating story.

Here is an excerpt from an American Chemical Society article titled National Historical Landmark Chemicals - Chemists and Chemistry that Transformed Our Lives:

The story is so improbable it defies belief: a soil sample from Japan stops suffering in Africa. It starts when a scientist discovers a lowly bacterium near a golf course outside Tokyo. A team of scientists in the United States finds that the bacterium produces compounds that impede the activity of nematode worms. It is developed into a drug that wards off parasites in countless pets and farm animals, averting billions of dollars in losses worldwide. Extraordinarily, the drug also prevents or treats human parasitic diseases that would otherwise cause blindness and other severe symptoms in hundreds of millions of people in many of the poorest countries on Earth. The tale depends on an international cast of thousands of scientists, medical practitioners and other dedicated participants. It also involves a company and research institute willing to give a drug away for free to rid the developing world of debilitating diseases. Yet none of this would have happened without that soil dug up in Japan—and a healthy dose of serendipity.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Satoshi Ōmura (*1935), a microbiolo-gist and bioorganic chemist at Tokyo’s Kitasato Institute, hunted for new sources of pharmaceuticals. He knew that some existing drugs, includ-ing antibiotics, had been derived from compounds found in nature. So he developed screening methods to identify medicinally promising compounds from soil. His team col-lected thousands of soil samples from around Japan, cultured bacteria from them, and screened each culture for medicinal potential.

In 1971, Ōmura took a sabbatical in the laboratory of Max Tishler (1906–1989), an eminent professor of chemistry at Wesleyan University in the U.S. A year earlier, Tishler had
retired from an illustrious research career at the pharmaceutical company Merck. Before returning to Japan in 1973, Ōmura arranged a pioneering agreement between the company and the research institute. Kitasato would continue to collect samples and screen them, and then send the most promising ones to Merck Research Laboratories in Rathway, New Jersey, for testing and development. The institute would receive royalties from any products that were commercialized through the partnership.

At Merck Research Labs, a team led by parasitology specialist William Campbell (*1930) began testing the samples as potential treatments for parasitic worms. A veterinary scientist and zoologist by training, Campbell identified compounds that could be effectively developed as drugs for livestock and other animals.

To test potential treatments, the Merck researchers first infected mice with nematodes and then fed each mouse a different culture sample supplied by Ōmura’s team. They found that one culture was extraordinarily effective at ridding mice of worm infestations. This culture was derived from soil collected near a golf course in Kawana, about 80 miles southwest of Tokyo. Ōmura identified the bacterium in that culture as a new strain, which was ultimately christened Streptomyces avermectinius.

The Merck team isolated the active component produced by the bacterium and named it “avermectin.” They found that avermectin is actually a combination of eight closely related compounds. The researchers began chemically modifying the compounds, tweaking their molecular structures slightly to see if they could make avermectin even more potent against parasites and safer for the animals being treated. By synthesizing thousands of similar compounds, Merck scientists found that, with slight chemical modification, some of the avermectin compounds displayed enhanced activity as well as safety. They dubbed the resulting pair of avermectin derivatives “ivermectin.” The mixture was 25 times more potent than existing treatments for parasitic worms. Further testing at Merck showed that ivermectin could also fight infestations by mites, ticks and botfly parasites that cause huge economic losses in the livestock industry. It was effective against parasites in horses, cattle, pigs, sheep and dogs, and was largely nontoxic to these animals.

These gratifying results led Merck to commercialize ivermectin as a veterinary treatment beginning in 1981. Starting in 1987, the drug was also marketed to the public under the brand name Heartgard® (now sold by the animal-health company Merial) to prevent heartworms in dogs. These products quickly became the top-selling veterinary medicines in the world, with sales topping $1 billion annually."

And most remarkable of all, the pharmaceutical company, Merck donated the drug to the world's poor:

"Most patients who would benefit from Mectizan® live in developing nations. Recognizing that these patients would not be able to afford the drug at any price and no donors were willing to pay for it, Merck CEO P. Roy Vagelos (*1929) in 1987 announced the company’s commitment to donate “as much as needed, for as long as needed,” with the goal to help eliminate river blindness."

Imagine that, a soil sample from a golf course outside Tokyo and a pharmaceutical company that gave away a medicine for free in the interest of humanity.

"The American Chemical Society designated the discovery of ivermectin as a National Historic Chemical Landmark in a ceremony at Merck & Co., Inc., in Kenilworth, New Jersey, on 2 December 2016. The commemorative plaque reads:

The synthesis and development of ivermectin by Merck in the 1970s and 1980s provided a breakthrough treatment against infectious diseases transmitted by parasites. This discovery resulted from an international collaboration that screened hundreds of natural products to identify a promising lead compound. Merck scientists synthesized thousands of analogs of this lead and tested them. The result, ivermectin, offered a highly effective treatment for several parasitic diseases affecting a variety of animals. Following its approval for human use in 1987, Merck established a worldwide program to donate ivermectin as Mectizan® to treat onchocerciasis (river blindness), greatly reducing the prevalence of this debilitating disease. In 2015, Merck scientist William Campbell shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine [with Satoshi Nomura]for his role in developing ivermectin."
Whatever the politics of the matter I think it is a shame that this medicine is disparagingly described as a horse dewormer and the object of derision. Oxford University went back on it's promise to distribute the vaccine at cost and Moderna, who received billions of dollars in US taxpayer funds is now suing the US government.

Mahmoud.
 
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I'm a big fan of the Science-Based Medicine blog. It's not an amateur blog at all but instead the writers are all medical professionals and pharmacists who do a great job debunking medical misinformation. They have chronicled the whole ivermectin thing in a six part series.

1) Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine
2) Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, take 2
3) Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, take 3: Conspiracy theories vs. science
4) Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, take 4: Bret Weinstein misrepresents meta-analyses
5) Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, take 5: The Nobel Prize gambit
6) Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, take 6: Incompetence and fraud everywhere!

tl;dr naaah, doesn't work for covid. If however you have intestinal strongyloidiasis or onchocerciasis, yeah sure, use it.
 
I still can't understand the Ivermectin fixation. It is not proven to work either prophylatically against Covid (or any other virus), nor to treat the virus post infection. Why aren't the Ivermectin fans as excited by the Pfizer drug that REALLY does treat Covid patients effectively after infection? And why are most anti-vaxxers pro Ivermectin while disregarding the very high levels of safety in the vaccines? It really is a very odd syndrome.
 
On a happier note Victoria is due to join NSW and the ACT in having a 90% double vaccination rate. The reward is that density limits are pretty much being withdrawn everywhere and masks will no longer be mandatory indoors. Case rates are at 1000 per day and falling, as is the hospitalization rate. Seems like its going to be a nice summer where we can forget about Covid for a while, but no doubt the cases will increase again, although booster jabs will hopefully do there stuff and keep the infections down.

Los of tough laws have been implemented here with regards to vaccination and these, together with the news from the UK and Europe, have helped push the rates up. The biggest driver has of course been the number of cases in the states - the more cases, the higher the vaccination rate. It really does make we wonder why the same does not hold for other countries. Case rates and death rates are higher in most European countries and there is just as much Vaccine misinformation and apparent skepticism here, but still the number of people refusing to get vaccinated is low and all states will reach the 90% vaccination rate in the next few months.
 
I still can't understand the Ivermectin fixation. It is not proven to work either prophylatically against Covid (or any other virus), nor to treat the virus post infection. Why aren't the Ivermectin fans as excited by the Pfizer drug that REALLY does treat Covid patients effectively after infection? And why are most anti-vaxxers pro Ivermectin while disregarding the very high levels of safety in the vaccines? It really is a very odd syndrome.

Isn't this about the cultural fixation with medicating in the US?
 
Today an article in the guardian about a BMI report on mask wearing etc.
“ Results from more than 30 studies from around the world were analysed in detail, showing a statistically significant 53% reduction in the incidence of Covid with mask wearing and a 25% reduction with physical distancing.”

As I thought masks are a no brainier.
 
A different view here regarding cloth masks. I suspect type of mask probably makes a big difference, and there is an interesting discussion at the end on whether mask wearing could actually increase infection rates.

 
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Today an article in the guardian about a BMI report on mask wearing etc.
“ Results from more than 30 studies from around the world were analysed in detail, showing a statistically significant 53% reduction in the incidence of Covid with mask wearing and a 25% reduction with physical distancing.”

As I thought masks are a no brainier.
Full article is here. Though the Guardian as usual is selectively quoting to its own purpose.

The full quote runs

"Mask wearing and covid-19 incidence—Six studies with a total of 2627 people with covid-19 and 389 228 participants were included in the analysis examining the effect of mask wearing on incidence of covid-19 (table 1). Overall pooled analysis showed a 53% reduction in covid-19 incidence (0.47, 0.29 to 0.75), although heterogeneity between studies was substantial (I2=84%) (fig 5). Risk of bias across the six studies ranged from moderate to serious or critical."

So only six studies of which two had potential serious or critical bias. So a rather misleading headline and commentary.
 
Mahmoud, Ivermectin is a proper medicine, for treating various parasitic infestations. There's no arguing about that. But there's nothing anywhere that I can see that gives any indication that it would be in any way useful against a virus. Simply saying "nobody has proved it won't work" is completely meaningless. Nobody has proved that countless other completely unrelated medicines won't work either.

Nobody has proved that Neptune isn't made of a mixture of chocolate and ice cream. That's not evidence that it is.

If Ivermectin really is effective why aren't we seeing studies showing that? Over the last couple of years scientists have been testing everything they can think of! Why haven't Merck themselves told us that it's useful against Covid? Is it all just some big conspiracy? Seriously?
No disagreement there at all Brian. For my own part I am not a member of the Ivermectine brigade, I came to look at the drug because a fellow at my thursday evening Boys Night Out group casually admitted to taking Ivermectin for the past year. As he is a lecturer at the local technical institute I felt compelled to look up the drug. What I uncovered startled me considering the very clear messaging that I had heard about the drug. It always bothers me when the media feel compelled to dissemble in order to convey a message. It is no different than what I was told as a youth about Vietnam and later about Iraq and WMD. The lesson here is beware of the mainstream media. Nothing more, nothing less.
 
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Today an article in the guardian about a BMI report on mask wearing etc.
“ Results from more than 30 studies from around the world were analysed in detail, showing a statistically significant 53% reduction in the incidence of Covid with mask wearing and a 25% reduction with physical distancing.”

As I thought masks are a no brainer.

Wearing a mask when required is more than anything about decent behaviour and being willing to muck in just a tiny little bit for the general good. This would not change one iota were masks shown to be completely useless at stopping infection.
 
I think this is the original study


A quick scan makes no mention of mask type. It’s more an analysis of other studies, across a lot of public health measures.

I’m guessing that if a country has mask wearing it’s not a specific type.
 
Wearing a mask when required is more than anything about decent behaviour and being willing to muck in just a tiny little bit for the general good. This would not change one iota were masks shown to be completely useless at stopping infection.
Not sure I agree with that. Just following the rules for the rules' sake seems a slightly dangerous step to me.

Edit to add: It would be different if (for example) a friend insisted that you're only allowed in his house if you wear a hat. I'd do that to humour him.
 
Wearing a mask when required is more than anything about decent behaviour and being willing to muck in just a tiny little bit for the general good. This would not change one iota were masks shown to be completely useless at stopping infection.
I don't understand Tom surely the concepts decent behaviour and general good are related to their actual effects? i.e. if they were found to have no effect at all they would/should no longe be consider either decent or good.
 
What I uncovered startled me considering the very clear messaging that I had heard about the drug.
Were you startled to find that the in vitro observations of Ivermectin's effect on a virus was not able to be replicated in vivo? There are estimates that you'd have to take at least 8 times the recommended dose of Ivermectin to get enough of it in the blood plasma to have any effect. Not only that but most experts say that it is physically impossible for the drug to bind to the plasma cells in sufficient strength to have any anti-viral effect. This is not about one type of media versus another, it's about facts.
 
Exactly that, Bryan, very well put.
If they were absolutely proven to be ineffective than their use would no longer be required (and I very much regret our current approach on eg transport where you have to but it's not enforced, exactly as with the mad cannabis situation) and the question wouldn't arise.
 
If it were absolutely proven that masks were ineffective, then sure. I don't suppose we'll ever get to that point though. In the meantime the "actual effects" include, most importantly, a public indication that one is willing to make an effort for other people. It's just like good manners - not massively meaningful in terms of direct effects, but valuable nevertheless. I shall continue to wear a mask in shops and the like even though I doubt it's making any actual difference, because if it makes a few other people feel more comfortable, why wouldn't I?
I understand that perfectly Brian. My question was about the second half of Tom’s post.

I would also say that good manners are very meaningful and effective in all sorts of ways but they ate almost all culturally and historically bound.

I just question the potential decoupling of actions from effects that Tom’s post seemed to imply.

I imagine you would also have your limits about what you were prepared to do for other peoples comfort. Though that whole terrain is immensely political so perhaps let’s refrain from exploring that.
 
Exactly that, Bryan, very well put.
If they were absolutely proven to be ineffective than their use would no longer be required (and I very much regret our current approach on eg transport where you have to but it's not enforced, exactly as with the mad cannabis situation) and the question wouldn't arise.
Tom are you not now contradicting yourself? You said you’d still advocate the wearing of them even if they were proven ineffective.
 
Thoroughly agree about the importance of good manners, and mask wearing has certainly become good manners in many circumstances. It does highlight the fundamental pointlessness of observational studies of mask-wearing, however. People who are taking the trouble to wear masks will be taking the trouble to do other things also. Establishing which behaviours have what effects is remarkably difficult. Without randomisation, it's often impossible. The degree to which it's desirable is a different question.

Personally I very much hope mask wearing will soon cease to become good manners. One finds oneself noticing, with pleasure, far more of people's eyes and of the expressions that can be read in the crinkles around them, but it subtracts elsewhere. I find my ability to smile at babies and small children is unimpaired by a mask - they immediately see the smile in one's eyes - but with elderly people, particularly elderly patients, my mask often leaves them baffled and confused, and leaves us both upset as a result.
 
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