Health Highlights: Oct. 14, 2020

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

FDA Warns Companies About Illegal Sales of Dietary Supplements

Warning letters have been sent to five companies for illegally selling dietary supplements that contain cesium chloride, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday.

Earlier this year, the agency warned consumers and health care professionals to avoid using dietary supplements containing cesium salts, primarily cesium chloride, and in 2018 issued a warning in 2018 about significant safety risks associated with cesium chloride in compounded drugs.

Cesium chloride is sometimes promoted as an alternative treatment for cancer, but no cesium-chloride-containing products have been approved by the FDA to treat cancer or any other disease.

Companies must must provide safety information about cesium-chloride to the FDA before including it in a dietary supplement. The companies that received the warning letters haven’t met this requirement, so their dietary products cannot be legally sold, the FDA said.

The warning letters were issued to: American Nutriceuticals, LLC; Complete H2O Minerals, Inc.; Daily Manufacturing, Inc.; Elemental Research, Inc. and The Mineral Store, Inc.; Essence-of-Life, LLC.


COVID-19 Antibody Treatment Study Paused

Enrollment in a study testing an experimental antibody therapy against COVID-19 has been paused by independent monitors.

The study was testing the use of a single antibody with the antiviral drug remdesivir. The antibody is being developed by Eli Lilly and the Canadian company AbCellera, the Associated Press reported.

The study has been paused “out of an abundance of caution,” Lilly said Tuesday, but didn’t explain what prompted the decision.

The study is sponsored by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which didn’t immediately comment, the AP reported.

After falling ill with COVID-19, President Donald Trump received an experimental two-antibody cocktail from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Regeneron and Lilly are both seeking emergency use authorization from the FDA for their COVID-19 treatments while late-stage studies continue, the AP reported.


Cottonelle Flushable Wipes Recalled

Cottonelle Flushable Wipes and Cottonelle GentlePlus Flushable Wipes sold in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean have been recalled because they could be contaminated with bacteria that can cause infections, Kimberly-Clark said Tuesday.

The recall is for certain lots of the products made between Feb. 7, 2020, and Sept. 14, 2020.

People at particular risk of infection from the recalled products include those who: have a weakened immune system; have a serious preexisting condition; have had surgery; or have a particular risk of infection.

To date, there’s been a low number of non-serious complaints, such as irritation and minor infection, associated with the recalled products, according to the company.


Coronavirus Pandemic Will Cost U.S. $16 Trillion

The estimated cost of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States will be $16 trillion, which would be four times greater than the economic damage of the 2008 housing market crash and subsequent recession, researchers say.

That financial impact is spread out over the next decade and is based on the U.S. death toll more than tripling by the end of next year, CBS News reported.

The coronavirus is “the greatest threat to prosperity and well-being the U.S. has encountered since the Great Depression,” according to the article published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The article was co-authored by former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and Harvard University economist David Cutler, CBS News reported.