Beware fake ebola treatments on the internet, FDA says

Beware fake ebola treatments on the internet, FDA says
There are no approved treatments or preventive drugs against the deadly virus.

(HealthDay)— As the death toll in the West Africa Ebola outbreak passes 1,000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning against products sold online that claim to treat the deadly disease or prevent infection.

Since the start of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the FDA has received a number of consumer complaints about bogus products, the agency said in a statement released Thursday.

However, "there are no approved vaccines, drugs, or investigational products specifically for Ebola available for purchase on the Internet," the FDA said.

"Individuals promoting these unapproved and fraudulent products must take immediate action to correct or remove these claims or face potential FDA action," the agency added.

It is also against the law for makers of dietary supplements to claim that their products prevent or cure disease, the FDA said.

Some experimental Ebola vaccines and treatments are being developed, but they are still in the early stages and have not undergone thorough testing for safety and effectiveness.

Most are also in extremely limited supply, the FDA said. Two U.S. Ebola patients, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, are slowly recovering after receiving doses of one experimental medicine called Zmapp. Only a handful of doses of the drug have been manufactured so far, and prior to the patients receiving it Zmapp had only been tested in animals.

The FDA also stressed that, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ebola does not pose a significant threat to the U.S. public.

The virus is not a water-borne or food-borne illness and is not transmitted through the air, the FDA said. Ebola is only spread through direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person, or through needles and other items that have been contaminated with the virus.

According to the World Health Organization, the current outbreak of Ebola has killed 1,066 people in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leona, and sickened 2,000 more.

More information: Full Article
More Information

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

FDA lifts hold on experimental Ebola drug

Aug 07, 2014

Federal health authorities have eased safety restrictions on an experimental drug to treat Ebola, a move that could clear the way for its use against an unprecedented outbreak of the deadly virus in West Africa.

Feared Canadian Ebola case tests negative

Aug 10, 2014

A Canadian man showing symptoms of Ebola after returning home after a recent visit to Nigeria has tested negative for the disease, officials said Sunday.

Recommended for you

Powdered measles vaccine found safe in early clinical trials

14 hours ago

A measles vaccine made of fine dry powder and delivered with a puff of air triggered no adverse side effects in early human testing and it is likely effective, according to a paper to be published November 28 in the journal ...

Health care M&A leads global deal surge

Nov 23, 2014

In a big year for deal making, the health care industry is a standout. Large drugmakers are buying and selling businesses to control costs and deploy surplus cash. A rising stock market, tax strategies and ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.