Staff reports | An anti-parasitic drug designed for use in livestock was touted as a preventative measure for COVID-19 infection by some during the pandemic, but a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that Ivermectin does not reduce the risk of hospitalization from coronavirus infection.

The study serves as more evidence for what health professionals have been saying from the beginning — the drug should not be taken as a treatment for COVID-19.  Researchers in Brazil studied more than 1,300 patients in a double-blind, random-controlled experiment. Half of the participants received a placebo, the other half received Ivermectin. 

Clinical trials conducted earlier in the pandemic also showed the drug was ineffective against COVID-19, but this trial represented the largest organized study published in a medical journal. The federal Food and Drug Administration also strongly urges against the use of Ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19. Health officials warn it could cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, neurologic disorders and potentially hepatitis which could require hospitalization. 

Latest COVID-19 data

Meanwhile, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) transitioned to weekly reporting of new COVID data this month, with today’s update being the most recent of reports including data taken from March 20-26.

South Carolina health officials on Tuesday reported 1,095 total new cases of COVID-19, with 650 confirmed, and 10 total new deaths, 8 of which were confirmed. As of March 26, 171 COVID-19-positive individuals are hospitalized, and 14 COVID-19-positive individuals are ventilated.

No positivity rate was reported by DHEC.

  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ with at least one vaccine: 66.8%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ who have completed vaccination: 57.7%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 with at least one vaccine: 19.8%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 who have completed vaccination: 16%

For more information, visit the S.C. SCDHEC COVID-19 dashboard.