A drug prescribed for scabies has shown strong capacity to stop Coronavirus in its tracks, according to a study.
Ivermectin is used on the NHS and in the United States for parasitic infections but researchers in Australia believe it could be useful against COVID-19.
Tests showed the drug reduced levels of the virus by 99.8 per cent within 48 hours and had been completely eliminated after three days, according to Daily Mail UK.
It’s believed that the drug works by paralysing the SARS-CoV-2 virus and ‘overwhelming its nervous system’, preventing it from replicating.
Scientists at the Royal Melbourne Hospital believe Ivermectin may in turn reduce the severity of the life-threatening disease.
They are now urging for Ivermectin to be trialled on Coronavirus patients as experts continue the race against time to find a cure.
Ivermectin was discovered in the 1970s and has fast become an essential medicine for a vast number of parasitic infections such as head lice and scabies.
It’s on the World Health Organisation’s List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system.
In recent years, researchers have shown Ivermectin has anti-viral activity against a broad range of viruses.
Most of this research has only been ‘in vitro’ – cells in the laboratory – which has prompted calls for human trials.