STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) - Ivermectin is flying off the shelves because people believe it will help protect and prevent COVID-19, which medical experts say isn't true.
Now, hysteria is impacting the lives of animals.
David Smith is a veterinary epidemiologist at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.
He's worked in the field for over 30 years.
He said he was surprised to hear that people would take Ivermectin as a way to fight COVID.
“There are important warnings on the label about even being careful about getting it on your skin," explained the animal health expert.
Ivermectin kills intestinal parasites and some external parasites, like lice and mites, in livestock animals.
It also can be found in dogs' monthly heartworm preventative medicine.
Dr. Smith is also a beef cattle veterinarian working with the drug, Ivermectin, often.
He said without the use of the drug, the parasites could stunt animal growth and health.
“There is some concern that producers, people that are raising horses or cattle that the drug is intended for may not be able to have access to it when they need to,-” Smith stated.
According to Smith, the want for Ivermectin to prevent the coronavirus has not impacted the hospital yet.
He said he would never take the animal medication himself out of fear of the harmful effects on his body.