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Photo: Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday urged people to stop taking ivermectin — a drug used to treat parasites in animals — to respond to or prevent the coronavirus.

Driving the news: The Mississippi State Health Department on Friday sent a letter warning health workers of the increase in poisonings from people taking ivermectin.

What they're saying: "The Mississippi Poison Control Center has received an increasing number of calls from individuals with potential ivermectin exposure taken to treat or prevent COVID-19 infection," state officials said in the letter.

  • "At least 70% of the recent calls have been related to ingestion of livestock or animal formulations of ivermectin purchased at livestock supply centers," they added.
  • "Never use medications intended for animals on yourself. Ivermectin preparations for animals are very different from those approved for humans," FDA guidance says.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Flashback: The World Health Organization in March issued a warning saying ivermectin should only be used in clinical trials because evidence of its use for the coronavirus was "inconclusive."

Go deeper

23 hours ago - Health

Pediatric groups declare youth mental health crisis a national emergency

Kids attending school in Los Angeles, California. Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Three major pediatric health groups declared on Tuesday a national state of emergency in children's mental health.

The big picture: Rates of childhood mental health issues and suicide had been rising since 2010 but worsened significantly in the last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing social unrest around racial justice.

Oct 21, 2021 - Health

India crosses 1 billion COVID vaccinations milestone

A health worker inoculates a COVID-19 vaccine dose to a man wearing a face mask of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Beawar, India, in September. Photo: Sumit Saraswat/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Thursday that the country's health workers have now administered more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines doses.

Of note: While this is a significant milestone for the country of 1.4 billion, which has been devastated by the coronavirus, only about 30% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated against the virus, per AP. Roughly 75% have received at least one dose.

21 hours ago - Health

CDC director approves boosters for Moderna and J&J and mix-and-match

Boxes containing vials of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky expanded the eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots on Thursday night, hours after the CDC's independent advisory panel recommended booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines and allowed people to mix-and-match doses.

The big picture: The CDC's expansion aligns with the Food and Drug Administration authorization Wednesday night which said people could switch to whichever vaccine they wanted for their booster shot.