FDA has advised consumers to be aware of products sold online claiming to prevent or treat the Ebola virus. Since the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa, the FDA reports the agency has seen and received consumer complaints about a variety of products claiming to either prevent the Ebola virus or treat the infection.
In a consumer statement, the agency reports: “There are currently no FDA-approved vaccines or drugs to prevent or treat Ebola. Although there are experimental Ebola vaccines and treatments under development, these investigational products are in the early stages of product development, have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness, and the supply is very limited. There are no approved vaccines, drugs, or investigational products specifically for Ebola available for purchase on the Internet. By law, dietary supplements cannot claim to prevent or cure disease.”
Individuals promoting unapproved and fraudulent products must take immediate action to correct or remove these claims or face potential FDA action, FDA advises.
It is important to note, FDA states, that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ebola does not pose a significant risk to the US public.
In the United States, Ebola is not a water-borne or food-borne illness and is not transmitted through the air. Ebola is spread through direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person, or with objects like needles that have been contaminated with the virus. People who do not show symptoms are not contagious.
Consumers who have seen these fraudulent products or false claims are encouraged to them to the FDA.