Health Highlights: Oct. 15, 2020

By on October 15, 2020

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

Ebola Drug Approved by FDA

A new drug to treat Ebola was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday.

Inmazeb (atoltivimab, maftivimab, and odesivimab-ebgn) is a mixture of three monoclonal antibodies, and the first FDA-approved treatment for Ebola virus infection in adults and children.

The drug was tested in one clinical trial that included 382 adults and children with Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during an Ebola virus outbreak in 2018-2019.

The death rate after 28 days was 33.8% among the 154 patients who received Inmazeb, compared to 51% of those who received an experimental control drug.

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Trump’s Teen Son Had Coronavirus Infection

In a personal essay about her COVID-19 illness, U.S. First Lady Melania Trump revealed on Wednesday that her 14-year-old son Barron, also contracted the new coronavirus.

She tested positive about two weeks ago, but doctors say she has now tested negative for the virus, CNN reported.

Barron Trump initially tested negative after the first lady and the President contracted COVID-19. But the teen had a positive result when he was tested again. Trump said her son had “no symptoms” from the infection.

Melania Trump said her symptoms were minimal and included body aches, cough, headaches and extreme tiredness. She wrote that the symptoms “hit me all at once and it seemed to be a roller coaster of symptoms in the days after.”

Unlike her husband, she didn’t require hospitalization and said she relied on “vitamins and healthy food” instead of medications for treatment, CNN reported.

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Women Dies After COVID-19 Reinfection

An elderly woman in the Netherlands died after contracting COVID-19 a second time, which researchers say may be the world’s first known death after reinfection.

The woman was being treated for cancer when she developed a fever and severe cough and was diagnosed with COVID-19. She went home five days later and, other than lingering fatigue, recovered from her symptoms, CBS News reported.

But 59 days after the start of her first COVID-19 infection, she developed symptoms again. She tested positive for COVID-19 again and died weeks later, according to the case study accepted for publication in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The woman was infected with two different strains and it is unclear if she ever became immune following each infection, according to the researchers, who said “it is likely that the second episode was a reinfection rather than prolonged shedding,” CBS News reported.

There have been other reported cases of coronavirus reinfection. For example, a 25-year-old man in Nevada was infected twice by two different strains. His second infection was more severe than the first and lasted about six weeks, researchers recently reported in the The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.

COVID-19 reinfection also occurred in a patient in Hong Kong, CBS News reported.

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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.

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