Common drug could be the cure for COVID-19 spread
Researchers from Melbourne's Monash University say a drug commonly used to treat headlice may be able to kill COVID-19, however experts have released a stern warning not to self-medicate with the product.
The Australian-led study, which looked at the common drug Ivermectin, showed that it could stop the virus from growing in human cells when analysed in a dish. During the study, tests showed the drug reduced levels of the virus by 99.8 per cent within 48 hours and completely within three days.
However researchers admit that just because they saw promising results in a lab, doesn't mean the success will translate to human trials.
Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos urged people not to misuse the substance, which
is available as a pill, lotion and shampoo, as it could be fatal.
"There is no reason to be buying lice treatment unless you're going to be using it on your children's hair," Ms Mikakos said during a press conference updating Victorians on the coronavirus pandemic.
"I just want to stress that because we've heard about people overseas who have heard about potential developments and then have ingested drugs that have been used in a completely inappropriate way and have died as a result.
"I don't want to see people rushing out to their pharmacies or their supermarkets buying lice treatments now because scientists are doing this work."
Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute's Dr Kylie Wagstaff told the Sydney Morning Herald despite seeing some promising results against strains of the virus, Australians should not be encouraged as it is yet to go through human trials.
"Like every medication, it is prescription for a reason. And it's not approved for antiviral use at all. It's definitely still in the experimental realm," Dr Wagstaff said.
Originally published as Common item could kill virus