Australian scientists claim anti-parasitic drug can kill coronavirus within 48 hours

Published: April 4, 2020
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Human trials yet to be carried out as people are warned against self-medicating. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Human trials yet to be carried out as people are warned against self-medicating. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

As the medical experts across the world are racing to find a cure for coronavirus, Australian scientists have claimed that ‘Ivermectin’, an anti-parasitic drug, can kill the highly-contagious virus in human body within 48 hours.

A collaborative study was led by Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) in Melbourne, Australia, with the Peter Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute), EurekAlert reported.

The scientists revealed that a single dose of the drug stopped coronavirus — medically named ‘SARS-CoV-2’ — from growing in cell culture within 48 hours.

Ivermectin drug, which is widely available around the world, is highly effective against the COVID-19 virus when applied to an infected cell culture, according to the research published in Antiviral Research journal.

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The research says that the development of an effective anti-viral for the coronavirus, if given to patients early on in their infection, could limit their viral load, stop the disease progressing and prevent transmission.

“We found that even a single dose could essentially remove all viral RNA by 48 hours and that even at 24 hours there was a really significant reduction in it,” Dr Kylie Wagstaff was quoted as saying.

Ivermectin is an FDA-approved anti-parasitic drug that has also proven to be effective in vitro against a broad range of viruses including HIV, Dengue, Influenza and Zika virus.

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Dr Wagstaff however cautioned that the tests conducted in the study were in vitro and that human trials were yet to be carried out of the medicine.

She warned people against self-medication.

“Ivermectin is very widely used and seen as a safe drug. We need to figure out now whether the dosage you can use it in humans will be effective – that’s the next step,” she added.

The novel coronavirus – which emerged in the central China city of Wuhan in December 2019 and has since been declared a pandemic – has literally upended our world. The COVID-19 respiratory illness caused by the mysterious contagion has so far infected over one million people, with over 50,000 deaths, in all continents of the world barring Antarctica.

This article originally appeared on EurekALert

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