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Pharmaceuticals

FDA Warns Of Fake Ebola Drugs

by Britt E. Erickson
August 25, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 34

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Credit: CDC/Frederick A. Murphy
Colorized transmission electron micrograph reveals ultrastructural morphology of an Ebola virus.
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Credit: CDC/Frederick A. Murphy
Colorized transmission electron micrograph reveals ultrastructural morphology of an Ebola virus.

FDA is warning consumers not to purchase products sold online that claim to prevent or treat Ebola virus infections. FDA has not approved any vaccines or drugs to prevent or treat Ebola. The agency is encouraging consumers to report fraudulent Ebola products or false claims to FDA. “Although there are experimental Ebola vaccines and treatments under development, these investigational products are in the early stages of product development,” FDA says. Such products have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness, and they are in limited supply, the agency says. Meanwhile, in an opinion piece in Nature last week, Oxford University epidemiologist Oliver Brady calls for companies to scale up production and distribution of investigational Ebola drugs to allow for the treatment of tens of thousands of people in West Africa. The outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa poses little threat to U.S. residents, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Ebola is spread by direct contact with body fluids of an infected person or with contaminated objects such as needles.

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