SARS: Bogus SARS Prevention Products: Buyer Beware (cont.)

The FTC issued a Consumer Alert entitled "Rx For Products That Claim To Prevent SARS? A Healthy Dose of Skepticism," produced in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA. The Alert advises consumers to:

  • Know the facts: SARS appears to spread most readily by cough or sneeze allowing droplets containing infectious virus to reach the respiratory tract of persons in close proximity. SARS also may be spread by touching contaminated objects and then touching your eye, nose or mouth.

  • Keep your hands clean: Public health authorities advise that basic personal hygiene is the best protection against the infection. Thorough hand washing with soap and water, or alcohol based hand sanitizers are recommended.

  • Check travel advisories for affected areas: To lower your risk of infection, the CDC suggests avoiding travel to affected regions.

  • Seek medical attention: If you think you may have SARS symptoms, or you have been in direct contact with someone with SARS, consult a health care professional immediately.

  • Stay informed: For more information from the federal government about SARS, visit the CDC or the FDA websites.

Portions of the above information has been provided by the Federal Drug Administration (

Last Editorial Review: 5/12/2003