In 2015, the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine was awarded to William C. Campbell from the US, Satoshi Omura from Japan, and Youyou Tu from China. The three scientists discovered natural-based remedies to treat parasitic infections that cause malaria, river blindness (onchocerciasis) and elephantiasis (lymphatic filariasis). These infections plague over a hundred million people annually, especially throughout Africa, where living conditions are less favorable.
Youyou Tu was able to isolate and synthesize artemisinin from the herb, sweet wormwood (Artemisia annua). The discovery has led to a novel therapy against malaria. William Campbell and Satoshi Omura cultivated dozens of strains of streptomyces bacteria and isolated avermectin. Renamed ivermectin, this bacterium was made into a blockbuster drug and become a novel therapy against roundworm infections. Today, ivermectin is showing promise for covid patients, and even inhibits SARS-CoV-2, in vitro.
If regulatory agencies were to admit that there are effective antiviral treatments that target viral proteins, then there would be no legal justification to grant emergency use authorization to experimental vaccines. But with ivermectin, early treatment saves lives. The drug is not only an over-the-counter veterinary-grade treatment for infections in horses. At the right dose and formulation, it can be used successfully to treat infections in humans. The FDA and other regulatory agencies, however, are hesitant to approve, regulate and dispense this medicine in a form that patients and hospitals can rapidly deploy with efficacy. Why is that? Shouldn’t a life-saving, affordable, effective medicine be a priority? With proper dispensing, ivermectin could be used in treatment protocols, without the risk of overdose.
Using treatments such as ivermectin is just the tip of the iceberg. There are several anti-inflammatory, anti-viral compounds that can improve survival rates and lessen suffering in medical systems around the world, if only the powers that be allowed it.Why does Africa have such low rates of severe covid-19 infection and mortality? – Dr. Eddy Bettermann MD