This flu season, rogue vendors may want to take advantage of the occasion to scam people with fraudulent flu products. They may catch you off guard, as people are concerned about protecting themselves from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns of some vendors offering untested products that claim to prevent, mitigate, treat, or cure influenza, even though they have not been evaluated or approved. by the FDA for its safety and efficacy.
These products can be dangerous for you and your family. The FDA urges consumers to avoid fraudulent flu products and offers some tips on how to identify them.
These products can be found online, even in popular markets, and in retail stores. They can be labeled as dietary supplements, foods, hand sanitizers, nasal sprays, or devices.
The flu is a serious illness, caused by influenza viruses, that can lead to hospitalization and even death. Get a flu shot it is the best way to prevent this infectious disease and its serious complications.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone, 6 months of age and older, get a flu shot, particularly those who are at higher risk of serious complications, including young children, adults 65 and older, and people with chronic illnesses.
The FDA has approved vaccines for the prevention of flu. And if you do get the flu, there are FDA-approved antiviral drugs available by prescription to treat the illness.
There are no legally marketed over-the-counter or over-the-counter medications to prevent, mitigate, treat, or cure the flu. What do exist are legal over-the-counter medications to reduce fever and relieve muscle aches, congestion, and other symptoms typically associated with the flu.
Dietary supplements, conventional foods (such as herbal teas), or devices (such as certain air filters and light therapies) that fraudulently claim to prevent, mitigate, treat, or cure the flu have not been evaluated by the FDA for to its safety and efficacy.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the same types of untested products have been put up for sale with fraudulent claims to prevent, mitigate, treat or cure COVID-19. Some products are sold with claims about their antiviral effects, and others make claims about preventing or treating viral infections.
The FDA is especially concerned that these fraudulent products could cause people to delay, waive or stop the medical treatment they need, which can lead to serious and life-threatening harm.
The ingredients in these products could cause unexpected side effects and interactions with other medications that people are taking.
Protect yourself and your family by being aware of potentially fraudulent over-the-counter flu products and antivirals that may claim:
- Reduce the severity and duration of influenza or other viral infections.
- Boost your immunity naturally without the flu shot.
- Act as a safe and effective alternative to the influenza vaccine.
- Avoid getting the flu or viral infections.
- Be an effective treatment for influenza or viral infections.
- Provide faster recovery from influenza or viral infections.
- Support your body’s natural immune defenses to fight influenza or other viruses.