An anti-parasitic head lice drug available around the world has been found to kill COVID-19 in the lab within 48 hours.
A Monash University-led study has shown a single dose of the drug Ivermectin could stop the SARS-CoV-2 virus growing in cell culture.
‘We found that even a single dose could essentially remove all viral RNA (effectively removed all genetic material of the virus) by 48 hours and that even at 24 hours there was a really significant reduction in it,’ Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute’s Dr Kylie Wagstaff said on Friday.
While it’s not known how Ivermectin works on the virus, the drug likely stops the virus dampening the host cells’ ability to clear it.
The next step is for scientists to determine the correct human dosage, to make sure the level used in vitro is safe for humans.