Cleaning Supply Sales Are Up As Americans Freak Out Over Ebola

Image courtesy of (Louis Abate)

Ebola is a terrifying disease affecting parts of Western Africa right now, and some health care workers who cared for an infected visitor to Dallas from Liberia without being provided proper infection control equipment are being treated or quarantined for the disease. Naturally, this means that it is time for a nationwide freakout wherein we stock up on disinfectants and treat everyone with suspicion.

Flu season is coming, so stocking up on disinfectants and cutting back on handshakes isn’t a bad idea. Market-research company Nielsen reports that sales of Clorox are up 28%, cleaning supplies are up 12% overall, and customers are apparently concerned that the Lysol can does not individually list every pathogen that it kills.


Shopping with Ebola in mind isn’t a bad idea if you think about it metaphorically, like when the Centers for Disease Control released a disaster-preparedness guide for a zombie invasion that actually serves as advice for more probable emergencies that do not involve zombies. Yet if you’re ready for a zombie attack, you’re also ready for a hurricane, earthquake, blizzard, or an extended power outage.

Stocking up on disinfectants and hand sanitizer isn’t all that helpful in the event that you do come into direct contact with the bodily fluids of a person suffering from Ebola symptoms, but it could be very helpful in protecting against diseases that people in North America are more likely to encounter: influenza, norovirus, and enterovirus. If you’re going to prep for Ebola, that’s cool, but go get a flu shot, too.

America’s Ebola Preppers Go Shopping for Clorox [Businessweek]
Consumers Buying More Disinfectants and Hand Sanitizers Amid Ebola News [AdAge]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.