New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is concerned about the influx of fake Ebola preparedness kits and preventative medications that are infiltrating the healthcare market. There are no US government-approved medications or vaccines that treat or prevent Ebola. “Scammers are shamefully exploiting this moment of heightened concern about public health to defraud good people,” Schneiderman said.
In addition, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning about Ebola charity scams. They note there are more than 100 pages on the fundraising website GoFundMe attempting to raise money for a variety of Ebola-themed campaigns. As with most disasters which make the news, the fraudsters come out of the woodwork to look for an opportunity to scam people who have a good heart, but don’t do the proper research to make sure they’re giving money to a legitimate cause.
Since the Ebola outbreak in March, there have only been two known exported instances of infection. A Liberian-American traveled to Nigeria in July, and incited a small outbreak which has since been controlled. Thomas Eric Duncan was the second who died earlier this month; a Liberian man who was visiting family in Texas and passed all screenings upon entering the U.S.
Researchers are predicting that 2.8 people with the virus are boarding international flights each month. Exit screening has proven to be more accurate than boarding screening. In Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone around 4,500 people have died from infection. Ebola has a 50% fatality rate and can only be transmitted through direct contact of bodily fluids. The disease can remain dormant and asymptomatic for up to ten days, and after that will the carrier start exhibiting flu-like symptoms. This incubation period makes it incredibly difficult to verify if a passenger has the virus.
At a European Union on Monday, American lawmakers proposed a ban on travelers from West Africa, but foreign ministers voted against it, figuring that travelers would simply make the journey on land or boat. The number of outbreaks increases every week. The countries most at risk are Ghana, Senegal, Britain, and France. Yet according to officials, the only way to terminate the virus is to stop the spreading of cases in Africa.
(Photo courtesy of the BBB)