Yes, a website published a 'homeopathic treatment for Ebola' article

Matthew Champion@matthewchampion
Monday 11 August 2014 12:40

UPDATE: Natural News contacted i100 to say the article had been removed.

"Natural News was made aware of a blog post that seemed to recommend a highly questionable method related to Ebola prevention. The blog post has been removed pending further investigation, and the blogger is under review. Natural News does not condone any member of the public attempting to interact with Ebola, a very hazardous biological threat."

The Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa - the worst ever on record - has killed 961 people amid panic it could spread outside Africa's borders.

Throughout the crisis, medics have struggled to convince victims and their families about the facts of the disease, for which there is no known cure or vaccine.

Efforts to combat the spread of the virus have been hampered by relatives breaking into hospitals to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones, with aid workers attacked by panicked residents who mistakenly blame foreign doctors and nurses for bringing the virus with them.

So, in terms of what could be most unhelpful at this stage, the Natural News website has surpassed even the Daily Mirror by publishing a blog entitled "Treating Ebola with Homeopathy" (story now taken offline).

It includes advice on how to "make your own Ebola remedy". Under no circumstances should anyone attempt this.

What you need:

  1. A face mask and gloves
  2. Two bottles (50 ml up to 500 ml glass or plastic bottles) with caps
  3. Clean water (mineral or tap water)
  4. 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.
  5. An alcoholic liquid, such as whisky, brandy, rum, etc.
  6. Half an hour of your time.

An "Ebola sample"? In terms of irresponsibility this is one of the most offensive articles we can remember.

Its author, Norwegian-born Ken Oftedal, writes: "I hope you will not need to apply the information presented in this article, but if you do, it could save your life and that of a loved one.

"With dangerous large-scale epidemics, such as Ebola could turn out to be, the medical establishment is more often than not caught unprepared, as vaccines and/or successful treatment take time to develop and the logistics involved in distribution can be insurmountable.

"Therefore, you may be left to your own devices, in which case alternative self-treatment, in particular, homeopathy, would be your only hope of survival."

US-based Natural News describes itself as a "non-profit collection of public education websites covering topics that empower individuals to make positive changes in their health".

There is no specific treatment for Ebola, which has a fatality rate of around between 50 and 90 per cent, but the only saving grace is that it is quite difficult to catch - you have to come into direct contact with bodily fluids with somebody already exhibiting symptoms.

So suggesting readers obtain an Ebola sample to treat themselves is pretty much the worst piece of advice imaginable.

More: Six reasons why it's not time to panic about Ebola in the UK