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Mississippi health officials warn against using ivermectin for COVID-19 after surge in poisoning calls

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Mississippi public health officials warned the public against ingesting ivermectin, a drug meant for horses, to combat COVID-19 after a surge in poisoning calls involving the drug, The Hill reported.

A letter from State Epidemiologist Paul Byers said that more than 70% of recent calls to the Mississippi Poison Control Center were related to the ingestion of ivermectin.

"Animal drugs are highly concentrated for large animals and can be highly toxic in humans," Byers said in the letter, according to The Hill.

"Patients should be advised to not take any medications intended to treat animals and should be instructed to only take ivermectin as prescribed by their physician," he added.

The medication is intended to be used as a horse dewormer and the FDA has warned that using any medication for an unapproved use can be dangerous.

Byers said that there had been no hospitalizations from ivermectin ingestion, but he listed the symptoms that could arise from misuse including rashes, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and neurologic disorders.

He reported that 85% of the cases reported of poisoning involving ivermectin led to mild symptoms.

The letter was sent to Mississippi's physicians, hospitals, emergency rooms, and other medical professionals.

Mississippi is experiencing a spike in coronavirus cases that has surpassed the previous high of 2,400 for 7-day average cases in January. The current 7-day average has hit more than 3,500 cases.

However, coronavirus deaths from the recent spike had not risen past the previous high of 50 deaths in a 7-day average. Currently, the state is experiencing a 7-day average of 30 deaths.

About 45% of Mississippi residents had received at least one vaccine shot while 36% had been fully vaccinated.

Here's more about the rise in COVID-19 from Mississippi:

Mississippi doctor on COVID-19 surge, state's low vaccination rate www.youtube.com

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