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Ebola protective gear: Smart or waste of money?

Posted at 5:34 PM, Oct 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-10 08:57:37-04

Remember when Americans started stocking up on duct tape and plastic sheeting after 9/11 and the anthrax scare?

Now, some people are snapping up protective gear, with the arrival of the Ebola virus in the United States.

At the "Land Air and Sea" military surplus in Newport, Kentucy, business has been picking up ever since Ebola and the ISIS terrorist group began making headlines.

Owner Scott Lane said survival supplies are now hot again.

"We get a lot of people coming in asking about gas masks, preparedness, emergency food essentials, things like this," Lane said. "And it rises and falls, and there has been an uptick as of lately."

What "Preppers" are Looking For

Even though their gas masks are not specifically for Ebola  protection, right now anything that can protect from bio hazards is selling pretty quickly to "preppers" and even some regular folk.

In addition to military gas masks, the store is also selling sealed, full body chemical suits, as well as military backpacks filled with all sorts of first aid gear.

"These are large first aid kits," Lane said. "They have lots of equipment in them."

Amazon Sees Sales Surge

Bloomberg News reports a surge in sales of protective gear at Amazon.com, from  Dupont's Tyvek protection suit, to nitrile gloves and respirators.

Bloomberg says a company called Life Secure can barely keep up with demand for its infection protection kit.

Customer Bobby Cox was looking over some of the protective gear, saying, "It's always good to be prepared."

But he says he hopes he doesn't have to stock up on supplies.

The Bottom Line

Epidemiologists, meantime, tell the Huffington Post that there's no need to purchase protective gear.

They say it would be impractical to wear a gas mask and say Ebola is not even transmitted that way, so a gas mask might not make any difference even in the worst case.

As always, don't waste your money.

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