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It was bound to happen. As soon as consumers became concerned about the Ebola outbreak, the scam artists, con men and other lowlifes would start coming out of the woodwork.

To that end, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising 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 has seen and received consumer complaints about a variety of products claiming to either prevent the Ebola virus or treat the infection.

It's a lie

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.

The FDA is warning those individuals promoting these unapproved and fraudulent products to take immediate action to correct or remove these claims or face punitive action.

CDC: No U.S. risk

It is important to note that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ebola does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public. Unfortunately, during outbreak situations, fraudulent products that claim to prevent, treat, or cure a disease all too often appear on the market. The FDA monitors for these fraudulent products and false claims and takes appropriate action to protect consumers.

Ebola is the cause of a viral hemorrhagic fever disease. Symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, and abnormal bleeding. Symptoms of the virus can appear anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure, but is most commonly seen on days eight to10.

In the U.S., Ebola is not a water-borne or food-borne illness and is not transmitted through the air. It 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.

If you have seen these fraudulent products or false claims, report them to the FDA.

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