News

FDA warns of fraudulent Ebola drugs

FDA warns of fraudulent Ebola drugs

EBOLA: A health worker assists a colleague with his protective gear, as they collect the body of a man suspected to have died from the ebola virus, in Monrovia, Liberia, Tuesday, Aug. 12. The World Health Organization declared it’s ethical to use untested drugs and vaccines in the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa although the tiny supply of one experimental drug handed out to three people has been depleted and it could be many months until more is available. Photo: Associated Press/Abbas Dulleh

By Toni Clarke

(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday it has become aware of products being sold online that fraudulently claim to prevent or treat Ebola.

The FDA’s warning comes on the heels of comments by Nigeria’s top health official, Onyebuchi Chukwu, who reportedly said earlier Thursday that eight Ebola patients in Lagos, the country’s capital, will receive an experimental treatment called nano-silver.

Erica Jefferson, a spokeswoman for the FDA, said she could not provide any information about the product referenced by the Nigerians.

The FDA did not specify any products in its warning.

Silver has been used as an antibacterial for centuries. Tiny silver particles known as nano-silver have controversially been incorporated into a variety of consumer products such as socks and bedding to help block odors caused by bacteria and mold.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers nano-silver a pesticide. Manufacturers of products that contain it must register them with the agency.

Nano-silver is also sometimes sold online as a dietary supplement even though Danish researchers found in a recent study that nano-silver can penetrate and damage cells.

The FDA regulates dietary supplements and said in its statement that “by law, dietary supplements cannot claim to prevent or cure disease.”

The agency said it had received consumer complaints about the Ebola claims.

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

The Ebola outbreak ravaging West Africa has claimed 1,069 lives so far. Most have been in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Nigeria has confirmed 10 cases of the disease and four deaths.

(Reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington; Editing by Richard Chang)

Recent Headlines

9 hours ago in Local

Inslee blasts Senate Republicans for Cabinet ouster

govinslee

In a press conference today, Inslee said the Senate vote on Friday was "an election-year stunt."

9 hours ago in Local

Union to pay $32,000 for campaign finance reporting errors

handing money

The State Attorney General's Office said in a news release today that Service Employees International Union 925 will pay the fine over improper reporting of in-kind and cash campaign contributions.

10 hours ago in Local

Restaurant owner charged with hiding sales, avoiding taxes

taxes

Auditors noticed lower-than-normal cash sales during a routine examination of the company's tax returns from 2010 to 2013.

11 hours ago in Local

Man charged with murder, arson in parents’ attack

generic police suspect or criminal in handcuffs

His mother, 58-year-old Vicki Konicke, a breeder of Golden Retrievers, died in the attack.

11 hours ago in Local

UW police looking for man who has groped numerous women

huskies university of washington uw pac 12 college logo

Police believe the man inappropriately touch women at least three times at the building since Jan. 31.