A study by All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)-Bhubaneswar in the Indian state of Odisha found that two doses of potential drug ivermectin prophylaxis resulted in a 73% reduction in Covid-19 infection.
Between 20 September and 19 October, 12 physicians of AIIMS-Bhubaneshwar conducted the study on healthcare workers (HCWs) at risk of virus exposure.
Ivermectin is one among several potential drugs currently in trials for its therapeutic and preventive role in Covid-19 infection.
Performed on two sets of HCWs, the study evaluated the association between the drug and development of Covid-19 infection, The New Indian Express reported.
In the two-cohort study, one set of HCWs received two-dose ivermectin prophylaxis at a dose of 300 μg / kg with a gap of 72 hours while workers in the other group received other prophylaxis.
With around 4,600 employees, over 625 employees of the institute tested positive for Covid-19.
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The month-long study took place using 372 participants, including doctors, nurses, paramedics and sanitisation workers.
Based on WHO risk assessment guidelines, the contact tracing team of the institute made the list depending on subjects’ exposure to the disease.
AIIMS Director and corresponding author of the study Gitanjali Batmanabane said: “Earlier, at least 20 to 25 HCWs were getting infected with the virus daily. After the workers started taking ivermectin, the number of infection has come down to one or two per day.”
ICMR guidelines advised HCWs of AIIMS Bhubaneswar to use hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) prophylaxis from 11 April along with the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) depending on their place of posting.
However, on account of known side-effect, the uptake was not encouraging.
The study also found that single-dose of the potential drug has no association with the reduction of infection in Covid-19 patients.