- Misinformation about COVID-19 is spreading online, including many fake cures or treatments for the disease.
- At least seven companies have been warned by the Food and Drug Administration for fraudulent products to treat COVID-19.
- The products cited in these warning letters include teas, essential oils, tinctures, and colloidal silver.
All data and statistics are based on publicly available data at the time of publication. Some information may be out of date.
体育投注网址As anxiety over the potential spread of the novel coronavirus has increased, so have the fake treatments and cures for COVID-19, the disease the virus causes.
This prompted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to
The products cited in these warning letters include teas, essential oils, tinctures, and colloidal silver. The FDA stated that “there are currently no vaccines or drugs approved to treat or prevent COVID-19.”
The requires companies to show that their products not only work the way they say they do, but also that they are safe. This involves backing up their claims with well-designed scientific studies.
体育投注网址None of the companies warned by the FDA have gone through this process.
体育投注网址The agencies issued letters to Colloidal Vitality LLC, GuruNanda LLC, Herbal Amy Inc., Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd, The Jim Bakker Show, Vivify Holistic Clinic, and Xephyr LLC dba N-Ergetics.
The agency will continue to monitor online sources for other fraudulent products, “especially during a significant public health issue such as [the novel coronavirus].”
The warning letters are just the first step. The agency said it will take additional steps against companies if they continue to market unapproved products.
The FTC is also warning consumers about related to COVID-19.
体育投注网址This includes emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), or other government agencies.
Now he’s tackling misinformation about COVID-19 “cures,” writing on : “No, bleach and cow urine won’t help. No, a chiropractic adjustment won’t ‘boost’ your immune system. No, you don’t need supplements from a naturopath. And a HARD no to homeopathy!”
体育投注网址, an epidemiologist with the UTHealth School of Public Health in Austin, says fake health claims can be dangerous in many situations — like when a person with cancer doesn’t get treated because they’re using something they saw on social media.
But “the difference [with COVID-19] is that there’s a lot of worried people out there who may be susceptible to this type of fake advertising,” she said.
Some claims, like don’t eat ice cream, are just strange, with no basis in reality.
体育投注网址Others, such as eat more garlic, aren’t harmful by themselves — unless they keep you from following medical advice that actually has scientific evidence to back it up.
But some products can be harmful, such as the “miracle mineral supplement,” or MMS. This contains chlorine dioxide, a powerful bleaching agent, which can cause serious side effects, like severe vomiting and diarrhea.
And some homemade cures for COVID-19 can even be deadly.
体育投注网址The Daily Mail reported that from alcohol poisoning after drinking bootleg booze, thinking it would slow the spread of the virus.
The best way to slow transmission is by following proven
体育投注网址And clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces — properly.
体育投注网址Some people on social media are recommending that you use natural products like essential oils, but these may not work against the new coronavirus.
The CDC offers advice on
“The U.S. FDA and FTC do a good job in warning people about scam products,” Ratzan said, “yet we need to be prepared to outsmart the social media purveyors before they do harm.”
体育投注网址He recommends that people talk to their doctor or other healthcare provider before using any “cure” for a disease or illness, and ask yourself if the product or service does any harm.
Troisi also applauds the government’s efforts to shut down fraudulent COVID-19 health claims, and says tech companies should do more to prevent the spread of misinformation.
There are signs that these companies are stepping up to the challenge. For example, now display news from mainstream publications, followed by links to the CDC, the WHO, or other health agencies, more prominently.
体育投注网址But Ratzan warns: “Even if Amazon, Facebook, Google, and others are trying to be vigilant, the marketplace and opportunities to prey on fear is a challenge.”
Troisi recommends that people seek out credible sources of information, such as
“To fight this pandemic, we need science, not fear,” she said. “To get that science, those [websites] are good places to go.”
Troisi adds that more also needs to be done to make sure that credible information about COVID-19 reaches everyone, including people who aren’t online.
“We just assume everybody is tech savvy, but that’s not true,” she said. “And some people just don’t have access to the internet because of poverty.”