Snake oil and Ebola

You know how I can identify a con artist in a crowd? They’re the ones that jump at an opportunity to sell you something you don’t need. They’re the ones selling rain ponchos in Amarillo, Texas, in December. They’re also the ones selling “essential oils” under the guise of said oils being some sort of a protection against Ebola.

By the way, if you want to read up on Ebola from a scientific and medical point of view, here’s a run-down of bloggers with good reputations taking on the myths and misinformation of what is happening in Western Africa. Now, back to the woo…

Essential oils for Ebola. How about that? All those people in Western Africa are apparently dying because they can’t afford the stuff being peddled by con artists as “cures” for Ebola. These people have no shame at all.

Anyway, I’m on vacation for the next two weeks, and have been on one for the last week, so that’s why you haven’t heard from me and will probably not hear much from me until I return. But please read this blog post by Dr. Steven Novella on the con artists (sons-of-bitches, if you ask me) who are trying to swindle people out of money by taking advantage of the fears over Ebola. He always does a great job taking the bastards to task.

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7 thoughts on “Snake oil and Ebola

  1. Having wasted a significant portion of my work day doing Ebola-related damage control, I say it’s a pity they can’t be taken yo the ducking stool.

    • Interesting, may I inquire what your occupation is?

      For a side note, I personally would advocate for immersion in boiling oil.
      Boiling, rather than flaming due to carbon dioxide contribution concerns. 😉

      • I am the bioterrorism and public health planner for a county health department in a jurisdiction with two universities and a significant West African refugee (Congo) population.

        • My first thought was, “Holy dogcrap!”, my second thought reflected the first thought.
          That’s a serious load. Not so serious with the domestic side, but with the refugee side, that’s 10 pounds of dog poop in a 1 pound bag.
          I worked with US AFRICOM for a bit and have a general working knowledge of the issues on the majority of the continent.

          • Most of the Congolese here are fairly well educated and have never posed a public health threat…unlike the native dingbats who decide not to vaccinate their kids against pertussis and the university students who are responsible for us having the second-highest STD rate in the state.

            The receptionist in the CD clinic and I have decided to write a song about ‘Chlamydia, Chlamydia, Oh have you seen Chlamydia’ for the annual staff Christmas party.

            (apologies to Groucho. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4zRe_wvJw8.)

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