An American company has sold out of Ebola-themed toys following a huge surge of interest in the deadly virus as it spreads across the globe.
Giant Microbes advertises three Ebola-themed toys, marketing them as “a uniquely contagious gift” that can help you learn “all about his fearsome frontpage disease.”
The Ebola virus has so far killed 4,555 people, with over 9,000 confirmed cases across seven different countries.
“Since its discovery in 1976, Ebola has become the T. Rex of microbes. Share the love!” reads the promotional blurb on the website.
Laura Sullivan, vice president of marketing at the company, said to the Toronto Star they had completely sold out worldwide.
“We get it in and sell out in a few days,” she claimed, before reassuring potential customers the company were making more as “fast as we can” to keep up with demand.
“Sales are exceptionally high now because so many more people want to learn about it,” she said.
The Conneticut-based company has made the Ebola-themed toys, which include two sizes of doll, a mock ‘Ebola Petri Dish’ and range in price from $9.95 to $29.95, for five years.
“With Ebola and everything that is going on, people are interested about learning more and this product provides a way for people to learn about it,” Ms Sullivan said.
See the Ebola outbreak mapped
See the Ebola outbreak mapped
1/7 25 March 2014
This outbreak of the Ebola virus first emerged in the Guéckédou region of Guinea, at a crossroads with both Liberia and Sierra Leone
2/7 31 March
On 31 March the WHO confirmed the outbreak was now international, spreading first into Liberia's northern-most Lofa region
3/7 27 May
The virus spread to Sierra Leone at the end of May - just as agencies were hoping the worst was over
4/7 27 July
In Sierra Leone the virus boomed, and then it spread to Nigeria when the Liberian diplomat Patrick Sawyer flew from Monrovia to Lagos
5/7 9 August
The Nigeria cases sparked fears around the world, and there have now been deaths in Spain and Saudi Arabia involving people who had travelled to West Africa. The numbers of cases continue to rise
6/7 17-20 September
In mid-September, Senegal confirmed its first case linked to the Ebola outbreak, a development the WHO described as a top priority emergency. Numbers of cases continued to grow exponentially in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, as experts warned they could number one million by January if not contained
7/7 8 October
Two cases of Ebola have now been reported in the US and Europe - the first times the virus has been contracted among health workers outside Africa
She also claimed the company had never received any negative feedback or complaints about its toys.
“I think that we have a responsibility to market Ebola very responsibly. Anyone putting out a product around sensitive issues has a responsibility to market the product sensitively and responsibly,” she said.
“People are buying it to talk about it and if we ever felt it was being used inappropriately, we would reconsider it.”
The company was originally established in order to encourage education surrounding diseases and to “bring the invisible microscopic world to life.”
However, they now stock over a 100 different toys including HIV, herpes and breast cancer.Reuse content