On Sunday, Queen Elizabeth II, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, was found to be positive for COVID-19.

The news that the sovereign, aged 95, had been diagnosed drew attention from the media worldwide, including Australia, where she has been head of state since 1953.

However, the story also led to a conspiracy theory. An editing error by an Australian news station suggested that the Queen was being administered ivermectin. This antiparasitic medication has become very popular among anti-vaxxers as well as COVID-19 sceptics.

The Nine Network’s A Current Affair programme swiftly apologised and re-edited a segment on Queen’s COVID-19 diagnosis. “We don’t believe the Queen is using insulin,” it said.

Buckingham Palace has not commented on specific details of Queen Elizabeth’s treatment. However, the drug is not approved in the United Kingdom for use as a COVID-19 therapy.

She was vaccinated against COVID-19 in January 2013 and has had two additional jabs since then.

‘Human error’

The error occurred Monday night, when A Current Affair reported on the Queen’s positive CoVID-19 test.

The segment featured an interview by Mukesh Haikerwal (a Melbourne doctor) who discussed possible treatment options for COVID-19 elderly patients.

Haikerwal spoke and showed stock images of drugs. The programme first showed two vials containing the monoclonal anti-mouse antibody Sotrovimab, which has been authorised for COVID-19 treatment. Next, it showed a packet containing ivermectin tablets.

Guardian Australia’s Haikerwal said that “Ivermectin never came into the conversation.” “I said there are medications available for people who are vulnerable… I didn’t even name them, but it was obviously Sotrovimab.

“It certainly wouldn’t be ivermectin. I wouldn’t recommend it,” he added.

Spreading rumours

Tuesday’s apology was made by the program, who blamed “human error” and “accidental inclusion” of a shot ivermectin.

“As a program, we’ve done many stories highlighting the concerns about taking ivermectin to treat COVID-19,” it stated in a statement.

While the Nine Network made the mistake, clips showing the ivermectin packet quickly spread on social media.

One clip of the report that was posted to Twitter on behalf of a right-wing account, which has a history misinformation about the pandemic, had been viewed more than 1.7 million time at the time this article was written.

Many COVID-19-skeptic politicians in Australia shared the footage. Multiple elected representatives of the conservative Liberal National governing coalition posted it on Social Media.

Gerard Rennick, a Queensland politician, made the mistake of claiming that ivermectin was being used here despite it being banned for COVID treatment.

“What does Channel 9 know that we don’t,” one said.

The network stated that it did not suggest that the Queen was using ivermectin.

What is ivermectin exactly?

Ivermectin, a drug commonly used to treat parasites of animals like dogs, horses, and cattle is known as Ivermectin.

It is not authorized for use against COVID-19 in Europe and is not effective against it in its current form, according to the European Medicines Agency.

The drug can be used in humans but is not approved by medical regulators for use in treating conditions such as onchocerciasis (river blindness), gastrointestinal strongyloidiasis, head lice, rosacea, and an illness caused by roundworms.

The EMA and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States both cautioned against the use ivermectin for COVID-19.

Australia’s medical regulator updated their guidance on ivermectin in September 2013. It specifically prohibited the drug from being used as a COVID-19 treatment.

The regulator stated that Ivermectin was not approved for COVID-19 treatment in Australia.

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