‘In every single case, treat virus early and treat it hard’: Steve Kirsch
In an interview to HT, the Covid-19 Early Treatment Fund’s (CETF) founder Steve Kirsch says India must focus on ensuring people begin treatment for Covid-19 early.
More than a year after Covid-19 turned into a pandemic, there are few therapies that have proven to work. Scientists and clinicians are studying a host of drugs and therapeutics to create a new line of defence against the virus but clinical trials are yet to lead to conclusive evidence on any of these. The Covid-19 Early Treatment Fund (CETF) takes a different approach to this by funding outpatient clinical trials for effective early treatments. In an interview to HT, the fund’s founder Steve Kirsch says India must focus on ensuring people begin treatment for Covid-19 early. Edited excerpts:
In your advocacy, you focus on early treatment of Covid-19. How important is it?
Every virus, without exception, should be treated early. And this one, in particular, is devastating. So we’re talking about using repurposed drugs for Covid-19. It’s an advice that we have for other diseases and for other viruses. Dr David Ho (known for key research on HIV and AIDS) wrote a famous editorial years ago on how to treat HIV. And it said that you treat it early and hard. For Ebola, the advice from the World Health Organization was, don’t wait for treatments to be proven; take risks, make mistakes, but treat it... The two arguments we can repurpose... is that in every single case, you must treat it early and you must treat it hard – that way you‘ll get better results.
There are two particular drugs you suggest should be used for early treatment – ivermectin and fluvoxamine. Tell us a little about the case for using these.
There are 23 studies that have been done from hundreds of researchers all over the world. And every single one of them, except for one, shows that ivermectin always had a positive effect. And it was a large positive effect, like 65%, or 75%, or more...
For fluvoxamine, people say you only have two studies -- a double blind randomised control trial and a real-world evidence trial, where the patients got to choose. In the second one, 125 patients at Golden Gate Fields hospital (in US) who were treated recovered with full marks. None of them were hospitalised versus 12.5% of the patients who chose not to.
How does early treatment make a difference?
If instead of treating people in four days after symptoms, they treat people five days after symptoms..it’s set up for failure. And this happened before in sepsis, where a doctor, Paul Merrick, discovered that if you get vitamin C within four hours, every single person can be saved.
What’s your assessment of drugs and therapeutics that are on the horizon?
I think proxalutamide is very interesting. I’m impressed with the results...