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A cure for coronavirus? Don't buy it

"True" and "False" boxes on a chalkboard with a red "X" in the "False" box.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stepped in to stop the sale of scam products that claim to cure or prevent COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

The FDA, along with the Federal Trade Commission, sent out warning letters to seven companies, accusing them of marketing products that are a threat to public health.

A key concern is that people with COVID-19 who use these bogus products might delay or stop appropriate medical care in the meantime. That could be a life-threatening choice.

The products targeted by the FDA included teas, essential oils and colloidal silver.

The facts about treatment

There are no vaccines or drugs approved to treat COVID-19 yet, federal health officials said.

Some treatments are being investigated. But they haven't been fully tested for safety or effectiveness.

A vaccine for widespread use is at least a year away. Right now the only treatment for COVID-19 is supportive care, such as giving oxygen to people who are having trouble breathing. Though most cases of COVID-19 are mild, it can cause deadly problems like pneumonia, especially in older adults and those with chronic health conditions.

Buyer beware

Companies receiving letters to stop selling scam products include:

  • GuruNanda.
  • Herbal Amy.
  • The Jim Bakker Show.
  • Quinessence Aromatherapy.
  • Vital Silver.
  • Vivify Holistic Clinic.
  • Xephyr (doing business as N-Ergetics).

But this list may not be the last. FDA cautions everyone to be wary of any website or store selling anything that claims to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19. Fake products may come in many forms, such as dietary supplements; foods; or unapproved medical devices, drugs or vaccines.

Don't be misled. Call your doctor before using any product that claims to prevent or treat COVID-19.

Reviewed 3/27/2020

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