US Government Warn Companies Claiming Coronavirus Treatment

During the coronavirus pandemic, a number of health scams have littered the media, making some people falsely believe products like essential oil, nasal sprays and herbal concoctions could help cure the virus.

Health scams and false information are spreading misinformation about so-called “cures” or treatments of the coronavirus, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission.

The agencies warn about the proliferation of fraudulent products that claim to test for the coronavirus and prevent or cure it. The FDA sent warning letters to seven manufactures of therapy products including essential oils, nasal sprays and herbal concoctions.

According to an NPR article, the claims made by these products not only violate federal law, but are a threat to public health. Unfortunately, immigrant populations seem to be a target, says FDA spokesperson.

“These scammers know that ethnic groups who may not speak or read English well, or who hold certain cultural beliefs, can be easy targets. For example, Native Americans, Latinos, Asians and Africans may have a long tradition of turning to more herbal or so-called 'natural' remedies,” said the spokesperson.

Another reason immigrants are particularly vulnerable to these “remedies” and false information about the virus is because it very common in the immigrant community to “use home remedies or nonprescription medications for the treatment of common illnesses.”

The list of manufacturers who have received FDA warning letters include: Vital Silver; Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd.; Xephyr LLC doing business as N-Ergetics; GuruNanda LLC; Vivify Holistic Clinic; Herbal Amy Inc.; and The Jim Bakker Show.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn warns, “We have an aggressive surveillance program that routinely monitors online sources for health fraud products, especially during a significant public health issue such as this one.”

Even though there is a significant amount of misinformation out there about the coronavirus, the FDA wants to make one thing clear: there is no current, approved vaccine or treatment for COVID-19—and there are limited test kits available.

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