Arkansas Jail Doctor Prescribed Ivermectin to COVID-19 Patients
The Arkansas Medical Board is investigating a doctor who has been treating COVID-19 patients at Washington County Jail in Arkansas with the drug ivermectin. The drug is dangerous when used to treat coronavirus, the Food & Drug Administration has warned.
Veterinarians and doctors have long prescribed ivermectin to get rid of disease-causing parasites in both animals and people. The drug is a proven treatment for diseases like roundworms and lice. But it’s not a treatment for COVID-19.
Karas Told COVID-19 Patients That Ivermectin Was ‘Vitamins’
Despite warnings FDA and CDC, Dr. Rob Karas has been treating jailed COVID-19 patients with ivermectin since November 2020, KUAF reporter Jacqueline Froelich explained in a recent interview. Dr. Karas operates a walk-in cash clinic in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The doctor has a contract with Washington Country to provide medical services to detainees who are sick. Dr. Karas allegedly told some of the COVID-19 patients at the jail that the ivermectin he was prescribing for them was “vitamins,” Froelich added. The former patients are very upset about that.
Ivermectin made national news headlines recently when the Centers for Disease Control warned Americans about the dangers of using ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19. Some patients have even landed in poison control centers after misusing the drug.
FDA and CDC warnings have been very direct: ivermectin is a dewormer for livestock. It is not a prevention or treatment for humans dealing with COVID-19. “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it,” FDA tweeted a few weeks ago.
What You Can Do
If you have a loved one in jail or prison, you likely worry about their medical care, especially when it comes to COVID-19. You likely have better access to correct health care information than they do, so it’s important to communicate what you know when you speak or visit with them. For tips on how to support your loved one’s health while they are detained, check out this article.