An Austrian doctor is facing a professional ban after prescribing the horse dewormer ivermectin to an 87-year-old OAP to treat COVID-19 and the elderly patient later died after taking it.
The incident took place in the Tennengau region in the state of Salzburg, in western Austria, with the patient dying due to complications related to COVID-19 on 27th November.
Andreas Huss, the President of the Austrian Health Insurance Fund, said that the alarm was raised by a nurse. The Austrian Health Insurance Fund is now presenting the facts to the public prosecutor, and the medical association has also been informed, according to local media outlet Kronen Zeitung.
An autopsy on the 87-year-old man’s body is set to take place to establish whether or not the deworming agent played a role in his death. The doctor who prescribed the deworming agent, who has not been named, now faces a ban from practising medicine.
Huss said: “If the suspicion is passed on in this direction, the health insurance contract will surely be withdrawn from the man.”
The Austrian newspaper reports that there are currently four doctors under investigation in the Tennengau region for prescribing ivermectin to treat coronavirus.
There have reportedly already been several deaths in Austria after people took ivermectin, which is often used as a dewormer for horses, to treat coronavirus.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has stated that ivermectin is not approved to treat coronavirus. The FDA says on its website: “For humans, ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses to treat some parasitic worms, and there are topical (on the skin) formulations for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea.
“However, the FDA has received multiple reports of patients who have required medical attention, including hospitalization, after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for livestock.”
The FDA added: “The FDA has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating COVID-19 in humans or animals. Ivermectin is approved for human use to treat infections caused by some parasitic worms and head lice and skin conditions like rosacea.”
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