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Josephine P. Briggs, M.D.
Josephine P. Briggs, M.D.

Director’s Page
Josephine P. Briggs, M.D.

Beware of “Alternative” Claims for Ebola

September 11, 2014

In light of the recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa, there are some claims being made about “alternative” treatments for Ebola that I find very concerning. Unfortunately, when health crises such as this outbreak occur, there are often some who will try to profit—advertising false claims that their product cures or prevents a particular disease. In fact, according to an FDA warning, the FDA has seen and received consumer complaints about a variety of products that claim they either prevent the Ebola virus or treat the infection.

While there are currently no FDA-approved vaccines to prevent Ebola and no specific drugs to treat the virus, “alternative” therapies do NOT offer an option.  It is important to note that there are no known herbal treatments or other alternative therapies that prevent or cure this disease.

The Ebola outbreak is currently affecting four countries in West Africa—Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone—and does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public. For more information on the Ebola virus and the outbreak, I encourage you to get the facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH.

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