Another media scare story about ivermectin has fallen apart, marking the third time in about a week that the media has failed when it comes to this particular drug.
This is not to say that anyone should be rushing to take the human version of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 – that’s a decision between you and your doctor – but the way the media has covered this drug has been a disaster.
The latest failure comes from KTSM, which cited a 2011 study from Nigeria that was small and questionable to claim that ivermectin causes infertility in 85% of men. Less than a day after the original article was published, the outlet retracted the story and added an editor’s note in its place:
FOR THE RECORD: A national story regarding Ivermectin and a study regarding its effect on men’s reproductive health that KTSM published, has been removed from our website.
Concerns over the scientific research methods, the veracity of the original, peer-reviewed report and public statements by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) saying that infertility is not a known side effect of Ivermectin all led to our editorial decision to remove the story.
This is the third time since last week that the media has published and push a false story about ivermectin after some people said it could help treat COVID-19. The efficacy of ivermectin in regards to COVID-19 isn’t clear, but ivermectin is a drug that is prescribed to humans for various reasons. It is also used, in higher doses, to deworm livestock, and the media would have us believe that rubes who support former President Donald Trump are rushing to the local tractor or tack stores to get livestock dewormer instead of going to the doctor. There’s little to no evidence that anyone is actually doing this, but much like the tide-pod eating scare from years ago, the media has run with it because it fits a particular narrative.
Last week, the Associated Press had to add an embarrassing correction to an article that initially claimed 70% of the calls to Mississippi Poison Control were about ivermectin ingestion. In reality, 2% of the calls were about ivermectin, but 70% of those calls (so, about 1.4% of total calls) were about ingesting the veterinary version of the medicine. Here’s the correction:
In an article published Aug. 23, 2021, about people taking livestock medicine to try to treat coronavirus, The Associated Press erroneously reported based on information provided by the Mississippi Department of Health that 70% of recent calls to the Mississippi Poison Control Center were from people who had ingested ivermectin to try to treat COVID-19. State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said Wednesday the number of calls to poison control about ivermectin was about 2%. He said of the calls that were about ivermectin, 70% were by people who had ingested the veterinary version of the medicine.
Following the AP correction, numerous outlets reported that Oklahoma hospitals were overwhelmed by patients overdosing on ivermectin, forcing gunshot victims to wait to be seen by emergency room doctors. The story was based on quotes from a single doctor, Jason McElyea, who says his words were taken out of context, and his original interview makes it appear as though he was talking about emergency room congestion and mentioned ivermectin as one possible cause, but did not say it was the main cause as the media reported.
One hospital in eastern Oklahoma said that McElyea hadn’t worked there in months and that they had not seen any patients who had overdosed on ivermectin. Another hospital said it had seen a “handful” of patients.
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News Outlet Retracts Story Claiming Ivermectin Causes Male Infertility, Third Time Media Has Failed To Accurately Cover Drug
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