Ebola outbreak prompts fake online products - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Ebola outbreak prompts fake online products

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Amarillo, TX - Scammers are now taking advantage of people's fear of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and are using the disease to make a profit.

While nearly 2,000 people have been infected with the Ebola virus in West Africa, the United States has yet to see any confirmed cases of the disease. However, that isn't stopping some scammers from trying to make a quick buck at a time when the fatal disease is making headlines.

Products claiming to either treat or prevent Ebola are popping up online. The FDA said they have received numerous consumer complaints of products like the dietary supplement powder Garcinia Cambogia, which claims it can fight the Ebola virus.

Monolaurin is another product online claiming it can defend against the virus that currently has no FDA approved vaccines or drugs for treatment.

"Right now researchers are working diligently to develop those items, but right now there is no vaccine and there is no cure for Ebola," said Amarillo Public Health Department Assistant Director Casie Stoughton.

None of the fake products online are FDA approved, which poses a major concern for the Public Health Department. "Please check with your physician if you see a product claiming to treat Ebola or anything else. There's a lot of fraud out there on the internet, so you've got to protect yourself. Part of that is seeking medical care. So if your doctor hasn't recommended it, it's probably not a valid option," added Stoughton.

The scammers aren't just selling fake treatments, but fake Ebola prevention kits as well. For the low price of $19.95, you can own a kit equipped with face masks, disinfectant spray, isolation gowns and biohazard containment bags, but it won't keep you safe from Ebola.

The FDA said they are monitoring the fraudulent products currently on the market and will take appropriate actions to protect consumers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Ebola does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public.

The Amarillo Public Health Department said they do have a plan in place if an outbreak of Ebola were to occur in our area.

Madison Alewel - NewsChannel 10