Anti-vaxxers are onto their next miracle cure for treating COVID-19 and that’s gargling with iodine. Last year, their big recommendation was to take hydroxychloroquine because Donald Trump told them to. More recently, livestock dewormer ivermectin has been the drug of choice. But now anti-vaxxers seem to be moving on to the next exciting thing and that’s snorting or gargling iodine. Povidone iodine is a treatment typically used for cuts and scratches, but it’s usefulness for those issues is questionable as well. The makers of Betadine, as povidone iodine is known commercially, released a statement reading, “Betadine Antiseptic Sore Throat Gargle is only for the temporary relief of occasional sore throat. Betadine Antiseptic products have not been demonstrated to be effective for the treatment or prevention of COVID- 19 or any other viruses.” There is nothing wrong with questioning and studying whether or not any of these medicines — hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, and iodine, can work to fight COVID. The problem comes in is when quacks on social media promote them as a miracle cure without any confirmation from the broader medical community. Susceptible people could come across these posts and refuse the vaccine and other mitigation efforts, all because they believe they have the secret cure for the virus and that they’ll be okay if they get it.
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