Saturday, August 16, 2014

Stupidity.. Quackery.. Science denial in the days of EBOLA

The other week I wrote dōTERRA legal about a claim I found tied to a website plugging the use of essential oils to cure Ebola.
I had shared the post with Skeptical Medicine on Facebook  & the dōTERRA company did something to remove or block the dangerous post that was claiming essential oils could do something to kill Ebola Virus.

How much wrong can you find in this statement? : 
"The reason doctors can't do anything for viruses is because viruses live inside of your cell's walls, and medicine particles can't penetrate those walls. Essential oils, however, have super ...tiny particles and a makeup that allows them to pass through with no problem! They go in, kill the virus while also stopping the viral cells from duplicating, and all the while boost the immune system so the body can continue to fight for itself. We've found that we can kill viral infections in 12-48 hours, depending on how quickly we start using oils."

I hoped  no one else would  publish or do really stupid stuff to misinform the public about the dangers of Ebola  then came the Natural News article claiming a homeopathic cure for Ebola.. I and many others reached out to the medical community & the news  to do something to call that out.

I tweeted the WHO on their position on Homeopathy for the treatment of Ebola .. sharing with them the Natural News connect. They in a nut shell tweeted back they had already stated that Homeopathy is not shown to be a cure for EBOLA to seek professional medical attention if sick with Ebola. 

Thankfully someone at Natural News pulled the blog post that was encouraging people to obtain bodily fluids of people with Ebola and make a homeopathic medicine using the fluids..

From New York Daily
"The antidote requires..
  • A face mask and gloves
  • Two bottles (50 ml up to 500 ml glass or plastic bottles) with caps
  • Clean water (mineral or tap)
  • An Ebola sample: some spit or other disease product, such as blood, from a person infected with Ebola, or who is suspected sick with it. Any small quantity will do, even a pinhead.
  • An alcoholic liquid, such as whisky, brandy, rum, etc.
  • Half an hour of your time

  • Fill the bottle with water, leaving about 20% space at the top.
  • Place the Ebola sample in the water in the bottle.
  • Close the top of the bottle with the cap.
  • Hold the bottle and strike it hard against a solid surface, such as a large book, 40 times.
  • Pour out the contents of the bottle.
  • Refill the bottle with water (the fluid remaining on the inside surface of the bottle will serve as the next Ebola sample).
  • Repeat steps 3 to 6 a total of 30 times. 
Then, drink the solution. "
Read more:

Thankfully someone at Natural News decided helping spread an epidemic might cut into their revenues. They pulled the Homeopathic Ebola cure article from online.

Science Blogs did a very well written blog post on the Natural News insanity of a homeopathic Ebola treatment..Science Blogs great Natural News Ebola post

According to a New York times article by  Donald G McNeil from Aug 15, 2014 " Late this week, both the World Health Organization and the United States Food and Drug Administration issued strong warnings about false Ebola cures. The latter threatened American companies with penalties if they continue making such claims."   NY Times article

An alert from the FDA on August 14, 2014, states: “FDA has seen and received consumer complaints about a variety of products claiming to either prevent the Ebola virus or treat the infection. There are currently no FDA-approved vaccines or drugs to prevent or treat Ebola … There are no approved vaccines, drugs, or investigational products specifically for purchase on the Internet.” 

Web Med has put up an post about Beware Fake Ebola Treatments on the Internet..Web Med Ebola fake claims alert from FDA

 Medical Daily article on the FDA asking people to report companies making any and all fake claims of product curing EBOLA   FDA: Stay steer clear of any product with false EBOLA claims

The BBB ( Better Business Bureau ) is also warning people not to be get taken in fake Ebola cure claims . Quack Products Prey on Ebola Fears 

Martin Lane at Digital Journal Latest Ebola threat: Bogus treatments
Sharron Hill at Doubtful News ( skeptic website ) has written a piece on  the Ebola outbreak and how  misinformation helps it spread Fear and Misinformation helping spread Ebola

Nigerian officials have had to issue a warning to pastors and faith healers to stop spreading false claims of curing sick people with Ebola.   No more false faith healing claims tied to EBOLA .warning form . Nigerian Govt  

According to Religion  writer Frederick Nzwili   "In Liberia, more than 100 Christian leaders meeting in early August declared that God was angry and Ebola a plague. They called for prayers to seek God’s forgiveness for sins including corruption and immoral acts such as homosexuality."Ebola curse from God?

 Now .. a Mob  has destroyed the Ebola Center in Liberia just two days after it opened.. stealing the stuff in it that may be infected with the deadly Ebola virus and releasing people who were being held due to possible infection.. helping to possibly further spread the deadly virus that has so far killed over 1,000 people..
Liberian Mob helps destroy Ebola center and possibly spread Ebola even further

What is sad .. is that Ebola could  be the black plague of our time if it spreads massively  and despite all the education of some of our top scientists and minds .. it may be the lack of education at the bottom level of society and through society on a whole regarding illness, science and basic human biology that may cause it to spread much further endangering way more than a few thousand people..

Recent Video
New York Times Video..Village in African with 61 recent Ebola deaths
New York Times Video Using Technology to help cut down the spread of Ebola

Lets look at some information  on Ebola from the Centers for Disease Control ( CDC) 
The virus is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with
  • a sick person's blood or body fluids (urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen)
  • objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected body fluids
  • infected animals
Healthcare workers and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with infected blood or body fluids.
During outbreaks of Ebola HF, the disease can spread quickly within healthcare settings (such as a clinic or hospital). Exposure to ebolaviruses can occur in healthcare settings where hospital staff are not wearing appropriate protective equipment, such as masks, gowns, and gloves.

Proper cleaning and disposal of instruments, such as needles and syringes, is also important. If instruments are not disposable, they must be sterilized before being used again. Without adequate sterilization of the instruments, virus transmission can continue and amplify an outbreak." Source  CDC

Also from the CDC
Signs/Symptoms of Ebola

"Symptoms of Ebola  typically include

  • Fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F)
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Lack of appetite

Some patients may experience

  • Rash
  • Red eyes
  • Hiccups
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Unexplained bleeding inside and outside of the body
Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to ebolavirus, although 8-10 days is most common."  Source CDC Ebola Symptoms

For those wanting to read about the CDC suggestions for hospital workers dealing with Ebola Infection Control for Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers in the African Health Care Setting

Update on  9/26/2014

Today I received  via Twitter  this : 
Quackery claimed to prevent /Treat Ebola By The Healing Frequency. com

I reported this article to the CDC, WHO and the FDA.

The article referenced above is the very thing that FDA , CDC and WHO are trying  to prevent slick  companies from doing .. spreading wrong misinformation  to sell products .. The making of claims not proven  regarding a product to be  effective in the prevention/  treatment  of Ebola ( a deadly highly contagious virus)  can kill not only those who fall for such claims.. it can impact others in society putting all of us at risk for the spread of disease that can Kill . This is the kind of snake oil salesmanship  that takes desperate people for huge amounts of money and endangers us all..

The World Health Organization states that w/ treatment  more people are surviving.. The fatality rate for Ebola in past outbreaks is listed  between 25-90 %
 WHO Fact Sheet Ebola virus disease

As with the other illnesses that people can delay treatment for when trying to self treat.. delay for treatment of Ebola can cause harm.. With Ebola that harm can mean the difference between life and death of not only you but everyone around you. .. But  with early treatment using medicine  survival rates increase..
 Early treatment of Ebola can help save lives
Us News Article .. There's No Ebola Cure, But Early Intensive Treatment Boosts Survival

Ebola is a potentially Lethal  HIGHLY contagious illness that should be treated by medical professionals and not with self treatment.

Due to the sudden increase in the number of people reading this blog post  this week..
I reached out to the James Randi Foundation to see if they might suggest to  me  any science based information to give any of you on the ineffectiveness of essential oils in any study to treat any illness.. They suggested: 

Oil of Oregano Science Based Study/
An aromatherapist Vs. Scientist Blog. /
Essential oils: A perfect example of alternative medicine exaggeration /

The FDA has started issuing formal warnings regarding false EBOLA claims to companies already:

CNN News..FDA warns companies about fake Ebola drugs
FDA statements on Ebola & Warnings to Three companies regarding false ebola claims
Doubtful News: FDA issues warning letters to companies marketing Ebola “cures”

Please everyone..
 if you see any company making bogus claims to treat or cure Ebola please contact the CDC and FDA to report that company ASAP.
We have the moral obligation to work together to protect the lives of our fellow human beings.

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