Fact Checking: Does a study show that ivermectin reduces the chances of dying from Covid-19 by 92%? Does China say that foreigners cause monkeypox?

Ivermectin has been constantly questioned by the scientific community during the development of the Covid-19 pandemic. But different users in social networks share a report on a Brazilian study that affirms that the Regular use of the drug reduces the risk of death by 92%. However, this is false information.

One post reads: “Peer-reviewed study of 88,000 people finds ‘ivermectin reduces risk of death from Covid by 92%’ But, but…horse dewormer! At what point will the ‘Covid conspiracy theorists’ be remembered as the only adults in the room?

Comments on the posts include: “And the American people knew all along that it worked, but we weren’t allowed to have it!”, “Those of us who are awake have known this for over a year!” and “Less death was NOT what they wanted.”

The information shared adds that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has “quietly approved” ivermectin, which is not true. As of September 2022, the NIH recommends “do not use ivermectin for the treatment of Covid-19except in clinical trials” as well as the World Health Organization (WHO).

The new study would be based on data from a voluntary program that offered preventive ivermectin in a small Brazilian city at the beginning of the pandemic, which states that its regular use is associated with better protection against Covid-19 infection and “related results”. ”, like death. But scientists say there are too many gaps in the document to draw conclusions about whether ivermectin had any effect.

Participants in the program were prescribed ivermectin for two consecutive days, every 15 days, for 150 days. The team had no information on how much of the drug people were actually taking; instead, they categorized “regular users” as those who received a total of 180 mg (30 tablets) or more of the program drug during the entire period, versus “irregular users” who received up to 60 mg (10 tablets). during that same time.

The study initially identified 159,560 adults over the age of 18 as eligible for inclusion in the analysis. The authors then excluded more than 71,000 of these people whose use of ivermectin was considered “intermediate” (those who received between 60 mg and 180 mg) with the explanation that this would allow a clearer comparison between “regular” and “regular” users. irregular”.

However, various calculations for the results of Covid-19 were based on much smaller set comparisons of 283 people from each ivermectin use group, matched for age and certain health conditions such as diabetes and asthma.

For example, the apparent 92% reduction in the risk of dying from any cause, not just Covid-19, for regular ivermectin users was based on the finding that 15 of 283 non-ivermectin users died during the study period. study compared with 2 of 283 regular users.

First, in addition to being unable to confirm whether ivermectin users actually took all of the medication they received from the program, the authors acknowledge, but do not take into account, the possibility that individuals identified as non-users or irregular users may have acquired the drug. drug out of the city program and took it on their own.

Dr. Stuart Ray, professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, noted that “the accuracy of the inferred use of ivermectin appears to be low based on reports from local health authorities in Brazil that many people took ivermectin than they were not prescribed, and many who were prescribed ivermectin did not take it.”

Second, the study does not take into account other possible differences between the groups that could introduce bias in the calculations.

“The main deficiency here is that the program was optional, and we know well from decades of literature that those who choose to seek medical care and take medication are inherently different from those who do not,” said Dr. Mark Siedner, an infectious disease physician. and clinical epidemiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“There are also a number of additional shortcomings What do they have to do with the lack of data? Seidner added, referring to the 71,548 “moderate” ivermectin users excluded from the analysis entirely, as well as calculations based on small matched subsets of 283 people.

The latter stated that “for example, almost half of the sample seems to have been excluded and almost 99% were excluded in their analysis that included age and health problems, and there is no good way to account for infection rates. in people who have never been tested.

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A recent controversy arose from monkeypox. In China, a high-ranking health official has reportedly publicly asked citizens to avoid contact with foreigners, because these could be the cause of the virus.

This occurred a day after the country registered the first case of the disease in the city of Chongqing, in the southwest of the country, precisely from a person who was outside of China.

In a post on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, the chief epidemiologist of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Wu Zunyou, advised avoiding the “skin to skin contact” with people from other countries.

“In order to prevent possible monkeypox infection and as part of our healthy lifestyle, it is recommended: Firstly, do not have direct skin-to-skin contact with foreigners,” Wu added.

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The first cases of monkeypox appeared in Africa. Credit: REUTERS.

Although monkeypox, which already has more than 60,000 cases, is indeed transmitted through close contact with infected people, animals or contaminated materials, and usually produces symptoms such as fever, headache and rashes, the way in which this message was issued generated certain complications.

Some people, especially on social media, labeled her racist. “This is highly inappropriate. At the beginning of the (Covid-19) pandemic, some foreigners stood up and defended us saying that Chinese are not viruses”, one user wrote.

“How racist is this? What about those of us who, like me, have been living in China for almost ten years? We haven’t seen our families for about 3-4 years due to border closures,” wrote another on Weibo, who appeared to be a foreigner.

To date, more than 90 countries in which monkeypox is not considered endemic have reported outbreaks of this disease, for which the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global health emergency.

The article is in Spanish

Tags: Fact Checking study show ivermectin reduces chances dying Covid19 China foreigners monkeypox

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