Don't be fooled: Covid won't be cured by a panacea | Philip Ball

‘Cure-alls’ such as vitamin D and ivermectin seem appealing. But the truth is, specific diseases demand specific medicinesIf the coronavirus had struck in the middle ages, there would have been a cure. You could have got it at all good apothecaries, though not cheaply. It was calledtheriac, and it also cured epilepsy, indigestion, heart trouble and swellings and fevers of all kinds. The recipes were often secret but were said to include the roasted flesh of vipers – it was the original snake-oil remedy. Sugar may have been a common ingredient, too, as the name is the root of the English “treacle”.Theriac dates back at least to Roman times: Marcus Aurelius allegedly took a precautionary dose every day. Of course, it was totally useless – apart, perhaps, from giving a sugar rush in those times of calorie deprivation. But it attests to the longstanding wish for a cure-all. No historian of medicine will have been surprised by the bogus or questionable remedies being touted for Covid-19, from zinc supplements tohydroxychloroquine. Even Donald Trump ’s proposal ofbleach injections sounds mild compared with some of the medical interventions attempted in the past, which included concoctions of mercury and sulphuric acid.Continue reading...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Coronavirus Science Infectious diseases Medical research Microbiology UK news Source Type: news

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