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Five Oregonians have been hospitalized after misusing ivermectin, OHSU says

The Oregon Poison Center has been reporting a pronounced spike in ivermectin poisoning cases this summer, and some of those cases were particularly serious.

Posted: Sep 17, 2021 11:21 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. — There have been at least five cases of Oregonians being hospitalized after misusing the antiparasitic drug ivermectin since the beginning of August as the state continues to see a spike in poisoning cases related to the drug, according to Oregon Health & Science University.

Between August 1 and September 14, the Oregon Poison Center reported 25 cases involving Oregonians intentionally misusing ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19. Five of those cases resulted in hospitalization, and two were so severely ill that they were admitted to an intensive care unit.

Last year, the Oregon Poison Center saw only a handful of cases involving ivermectin misuse, and there were relatively few this year until the summer.

The Oregon Poison Center also serves Alaska and Guam, but officials say that most cases involving ivermectin this year have come from Oregon.

“COVID-19 is a devastating disease and can be very frightening, but the public does not need to use — nor should it use — unproven and potentially dangerous drugs to fight it,” said Dr. Robert Hendrickson, medical director of the Oregon Poison Center at OHSU and professor of emergency medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine.

While ivermectin does have approved uses as an antiparasitic in both humans and animals, it has not received FDA approval for use in humans to treat or prevent COVID-19. Both the FDA and drug-maker Merck have underlined that there is no reliable scientific data to support ivermectin's use for COVID-19. OHSU says that initial lab research indicated that ivermectin might be able to treat COVID-19, but human trials did not support the theory that it could decrease symptoms or cure the disease.

“Health care providers can help COVID patients by prescribing treatments that are already carefully tested and approved,“ Hendrickson said. “And vaccination, in combination with masking, physical distancing, frequent hand-washing and other measures, continues to be the best way to avoid getting infected.”

The Oregon Poison Center reports that recent cases of ivermectin poisoning involved mental confusion, balance issues, low blood pressure and seizures. The patients were in their 20s through their 80s, although most were older than 60. The cases were fairly evenly split between both men and women, and between people attempting to either prevent or treat COVID-19. Some cases involved individuals obtaining a prescription for either human or veterinary forms of the drug.

OHSU said that those who experience COVID-19 symptoms or are exposed to COVID-19 are encouraged to contact their primary care provider for assistance, and to only go to an emergency department if they are experiencing severe symptoms and need emergency medical assistance.

Oregonians who don’t have a primary care provider or have COVID-19 questions can call the OHSU COVID-19 Connected Care Center hotline: 833-647-8222. Those who take ivermectin for COVID-19 and have symptoms or questions can also call the Oregon Poison Center: 800-222-1222.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 356061

Reported Deaths: 4275
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55695704
Washington38673322
Marion36719454
Clackamas29660309
Lane27624302
Jackson22982310
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Umatilla14451150
Linn12780130
Douglas12065243
Josephine9349196
Yamhill8674113
Klamath7965118
Polk733681
Malheur561776
Benton546531
Coos501294
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Jefferson372352
Union318449
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Crook287546
Wasco287441
Clatsop243329
Baker202529
Tillamook196432
Hood River192137
Morrow184423
Curry180025
Harney113726
Grant100013
Lake92412
Wallowa68612
Gilliam1544
Sherman1503
Wheeler1121
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Cases: 4842472

Reported Deaths: 71202
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles148181426506
Riverside3712935030
San Diego3660564183
San Bernardino3582135663
Orange3241845550
Sacramento1593332308
Kern1459621644
Fresno1458772084
Santa Clara1453911896
Alameda1205301400
San Joaquin1025821721
Ventura1009841166
Contra Costa998841008
Stanislaus860701331
Tulare80203967
San Francisco54375646
San Mateo54112622
Monterey50885587
Solano46021341
Santa Barbara45160523
Merced42299581
Sonoma40925402
Placer39342425
Imperial35999766
Kings32801322
San Luis Obispo29945332
Madera23876285
Shasta23851352
Butte23738270
Santa Cruz21018220
Yolo20353248
Marin17692244
El Dorado17169149
Sutter13913175
Napa12882100
Yuba1008582
Tehama9510110
Humboldt9243108
Nevada914290
Mendocino763687
Lassen754347
San Benito744472
Tuolumne688089
Lake6605104
Amador544064
Siskiyou450546
Glenn436733
Calaveras389381
Del Norte358342
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Inyo211140
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Plumas16417
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Trinity87711
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