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 News

in Viral Videos

Famous album covers come alive

18-overlay1

No, your eyes aren't tricking you. The album covers in Roy Kafri's new music video ARE singing along.

in Entertainment

Oprah, Neil Patrick Harris among year’s most ‘fascinating’

FILE - This Sept. 20, 2009 file photo shows host Neil Patrick Harris during the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Harris will host the Emmys again. CBS will air the Emmycast live from Los Angeles on Sept. 22. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, file)

Barbara Walters is back with her annual TV special.

in Music

Pete Wentz joins Cobra Starship

wentz

The Fall Out Boy star has joined Cobra Starship as a replacement for departing bassist Alex Suarez.

in Music

How Joe Perry finally got his prized guitar back

slash

Strapped for cash the Aerosmith star sold his prized 1959 Les Paul guitar and it somehow ended up in Slash's hands.

in Music

WATCH: Primus sends fans on hunt for lifetime tickets

25-overlay2

The band is offering fans lifetime passes to their gigs if they find a golden ticket inside the vinyl version of their new album.