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article imageLatest Ebola threat: Bogus treatments

By Martin Laine     Aug 16, 2014 in World
In the midst of the worldwide effort to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history and to find an effective treatment for its victims, others are finding ways to make some easy money by peddling fake cures and treatments to the fearful and gullible.
Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued warnings warning of the false claims, according to an article in the New York Times.
The WHO statement as given on their website notes that “decades of scientific research have failed to find a curative or preventive agent in proven safety and effectiveness in humans” for treating Ebola. It also notes that some are showing promise but have yet to be fully tested.
“All rumors of any other effective products or practices are false,” the statement continues. “Their use can be dangerous. In Nigeria, for example, two people have died drinking salt water, rumored to be protective.”
The FDA statement makes the same point, and adds a warning to anyone promoting these fake treatments.
Graphic showing how the Ebola virus attacks the human body
Graphic showing how the Ebola virus attacks the human body
-, AFP Graphic
“Individuals promoting these unapproved and fraudulent products must take immediate action to correct or remove these claims or face potential FDA action,” reads the statement.
Neither the WHO or FDA names any specific individual, company, or product — other than the salt water incidents in Nigeria. However, several have been identified on various websites.
One such product comes from a fruit named Garcinia cambrogia, native to southern India, and sold online at several sites, including Z Natural Foods. Their website lists an extensive list of ailments the extract from this fruit can alleviate, and then some.
“Garcinia cambogia also has other amazing qualities, and is utilized as a possible anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiviral agent,” it claims, and until a few days ago, in was named as a possible cure for Ebola.
That claimed has since been deleted, according to an article on The Verge website, after being contacted by a reporter and in the wake of the FDA warning. The website has a “before and after” graphic showing the Ebola claim, and then showing the same page, but with the Ebola claim deleted.
A company spokesman named Michael, who would not give his last name, told a Verge reporter that they “have never gotten a phone call of someone buying it for Ebola, parasites, or worms. People only buy it through us for weight loss.”
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