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FDA Warns of False Claims That Chlorine Dioxide Can Treat COVID-19

FDA has previously warned against drinking chlorine dioxide products sold online as medical treatments

THURSDAY, April 9, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A warning letter has been sent to a company marketing fraudulent and dangerous chlorine dioxide products for the prevention and treatment of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

The fraudulent claims by the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing about its "Miracle Mineral Solution" products are especially concerning in relation to children, who are at increased risk for harm from consuming chlorine dioxide, according to the FDA. The joint warning letter from the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission gave the company 48 hours to outline what it has done to correct the violations.

The FDA has previously warned consumers against buying or drinking chlorine dioxide products sold online as medical treatments. "Despite previous warnings, the FDA is concerned that we are still seeing chlorine dioxide products being sold with misleading claims that they are safe and effective for the treatment of diseases, now including COVID-19," FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, M.D., said in a statement. "We continue to take action and keep up our efforts to monitor for fraudulent treatments during this public health emergency and remind the public to seek medical help from their health care providers."

Chlorine dioxide products have not been shown to be safe or effective for any use -- including COVID-19. But the FDA said they continue to be sold as a remedy for treating autism, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and flu, among other conditions. The FDA has received reports of people suffering serious problems after drinking chlorine dioxide products. Those problems include methemoglobinemia; QT prolongation; life-threatening low blood pressure caused by dehydration; acute liver failure; hemolytic anemia requiring blood transfusion; and severe vomiting and diarrhea.

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