The conclusion of a recent study of the use of ivermectin is that the patent-free medicine does reduce the risk of Covid-19 disease. Some 542 healthcare workers at two Rescue Group centers participated in the study.
The findings were also favorable for the use of the drug ivermectin for prophylactic or preventive purposes among health workers with high exposure to patients with the virus. The drug was found to reduce by 74% the risk of health care workers presenting symptomatic Covid-19 compared to their peers working under the same conditions without ivermectin.
This is the result of a study carried out among 542 healthcare workers (matched 1:1), or homogenous groups, with 28 days of follow-up in two healthcare centers of the Rescue Group, a network of healthcare centers operating in tourist areas in the Dominican Republic.
The details of the study were presented by the directors and researchers of Grupo Rescue, headed by its president, Dr. José Natalio Redondo; the director of Research, Dr. José Morgenster and the international consultant, expert in Big Data, Álvaro Olavarría, during an interview with Listín Diario, hosted by Listin Diario director Miguel Franjul and the health reporter, Doris Pantaleón.
The study is “Ivermectin as a Method of Prophylaxis for Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in Health Workers.” It was carried out at the Bournigal Medical Center (CMBO) in Puerto Plata and the Punta Cana Medical Center (CMPC) in Punta Cana and included doctors, nurses, administrative personnel, among others.
The study began on 29 June 2020 and ended on 26 July of the same year.
They explained that the study aimed to determine whether or not the program of prophylactic use of weekly ivermectin in a group of health workers could mean a reduction in symptomatic Covid-19 infections, measured by RT-PCR. The results were that the ivermectin group had a 74% lower risk of having symptomatic Covid-19 than the control group.
In addition, the ivermectin group got sick 1.8% after infection and the control group got sick 6.6%. The margin of error identified in the study is less than 0.6%.
Dr. Redondo recalled that the first study carried out by the medical group on the use of ivermectin was in response to early treatment in more than 3,000 patients seen in the emergency rooms of the private clinics. Those who received doses of ivermectin did not return to the emergency room and the mortality rate was but 0.6, a third of the national mortality rate at the time of 1.8.
The specialists say international studies in different countries have given results similar to those of the Rescue Group.
Grupo Rescue research director, Dr. Morgenster pointed out that this drug is effective against the Covid-19 virus variants, including Delta. He said it is a solid drug to combat the virus. Dr. Morgenster said the drug has been of great support as a preventive measure for health personnel in close contact with virus patients.
The specialists explained, however, that vaccinations are the best tool in the fight against Covid-19. They urged all to get vaccinated to avoid catching the disease, getting sick and dying from the disease.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 virus cases in the country, in March 2020, the use of the drug ivermectin, commonly used as an antiparasitic, has been the subject of controversies involving both authorities and health specialists.
Although its use became widespread in the Dominican Republic during the pandemic, both at the level of medical indications and self-medication, the drug has never been included as part of the official protocol for preventing and managing Covid-19. Nevertheless, a large number of highly reputed Dominican physicians recommended and prescribed treatment with ivermectin at the early start of the disease. Many physicians advised the treatment as people waited for results of a PCR test.
The first compassionate protocol of medical use of ivermectin in early treatment of Covid-19 was done in the Dominican Republic at the Bournigal Medical Center, Puerto Plata, belonging to Rescue Group.
Ivermectin has again been in the limelight after popular USA podcast host Joe Rogan shared his experience after falling sick with Covid-19. Contrary to the pro-vaccination position of Grupo Rescue, Rogan has discouraged people from getting vaccinated.
14 September 2021