Since sometime last summer, I’ve paid (increasing) attention to much of the rapidly growing body of evidence that ivermectin (IVM) effectively treats SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. While I decided some months ago that I believe IVM almost surely works as a treatment and could effectively end the pandemic, the strange consistency of IVM results as prophylaxis, early (like antiviral), late, and as a long haul treatment baffled me. Could it really be true that IVM works in so many different ways that it manages all these results?!
While IVM has immuno-modulatory and anti-inflammatory properties, so too does hydroxychloroquine, but the evidence on HCQ efficacy quite clearly favors prophylaxis/early usage over late treatment, indicating that antiviral action is the most important tool in HCQ’s Swiss Army Knife array of mechanisms.
What could IVM be doing differently? Or is there just noise in the smaller body of research results (relative to HCQ’s) that masks a time-dependence for the use of IVM that will be revealed in further research? An answer may have presented itself…
Recently, at least two papers have come out (Chen et al; and Solomay et al) reporting that SARS-CoV-2 infections are associated with reactivation of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). A few days later, another paper (Gold et al) demonstrated the relationship between EBV and Long COVID. EBV is a herpes virus often called “the kissing disease” that affects 95% of the human population. In many people, it causes no immediate problems, but upon infecting a host it can cause fever, headaches, skin rashes, mononucleosis, and some autoimmune disorders. After infection, EBV remains latent in the host, but can be reactivated by an array of stimuli, some of which may be epigenetic stress responses. Perhaps this story is a nod to terrain theory.
One particularly interesting aspect of the observation that SARS-CoV-2 seems to reactivate EBV is that ivermectin has been noted to have antiviral properties that treat EBV (not to mention numerous other viruses). This may be why ivermectin seems not only to work as a prophylaxis and in early treatment of COVID-19 patients, but also with late patients and even with long haul COVID-19 sufferers!
Even better, since EBV is linked to the development of several cancers, that means that ivermectin’s antiviral properties may provide a unique form of cancer protection!
And now your moment of zen, brought to you by Dr. Pierre Kory, evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein, and podcast deity Joe Rogan: