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  • Harroll Ingram Jr.

Attack Virus-Infected Parasites: A Possible COVID Treatment Option

A parasite is an organism that lives in or on another species often called a host. Parasites use their host to gain nutrients. Some parasites known as zombie-parasites reportedly have the ability to control the mind of their host and cause the host to act in self-destructive ways that ultimately benefit the parasite. For example, there is a parasitic worm called Spinochordodes Tellinii that attracts and is eaten by grasshoppers. Once inside the grasshopper, the worm feeds off of its host and grows. Eventually, the worm controls the grasshoppers mind and causes it to jump into deep water and drown—the parasitic worm causes its hosts to commit suicide. The worm then leaves the dead grasshopper and continues its life in the water—where it longed to live.

Parasites are often used in science labs to study transmission, infection, and immune response in humans and animals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a Parasitic Diseases Branch with Scientists who investigate how parasites infect and cause disease in people and animals and how those parasites become resistant to methods of treatment and prevention.

Parasites normally enter the body through the mouth (e.g., via unclean food or water) and negatively effect the host’s digestive system and/or other organs. Parasites that enter the bloodstream cause fever and inflammation among other physical problems. Parasites enter the blood stream by boring through the skin, being transmitted through the bite of an insect, or being injected via a syringe and needle as is done in many laboratory environments.

There have been studies conducted on parasites infected with viruses. Although virus-infected parasites were discovered decades ago, little is known about the impact of those parasites on human hosts. The virus-infected parasitic studies have led some to question whether or not any of those virus-laden parasites ever escaped the lab environment. If so, the host could exhibit symptoms similar to those attributed to the virus that lies inside the parasite—assuming the virus (e.g., common cold, influenza, coronavirus) is passed on to the host via the parasite. It’s reasonable to attempt to kill the parasite before it passes the virus on to the host. One treatment for parasites, prescribed by doctors, is a product called ivermectin.

Ivermectin is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved prescription medication used to treat parasitic infections. Ivermectin approval for use against other infections such as COVID-19 has not yet been given. Although ivermectin is not authorized or approved by the FDA for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19, many COVID-infected people have reported positive results after using ivermectin to treat the illness. Pharmaceutical companies have reported that ivermectin showed an "antiviral effect" against various versions of the coronavirus in non-clinical research. The lack of FDA approval initially led people away from ivermectin. However, the CDC recently reported a 980% increase in the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19. Therefore, it stands to reason, that illness might actually be a parasite—perhaps one infected by a virus.

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