Retailers Nationwide Cash In on Swine Flu Fears
Retailers, marketers and online scammers are finding a way to cash in on the swine flu craze with fashionable surgical masks, iPhone flu tracking applications, test kits and even bogus survival kits and vaccines.
The Better Business Bureau said that already 2 percent of all spam is about swine flu and offers for protecting yourself from it.
"People are frightened, they will look wherever they can to do whatever they can to hedge their bets to prevent catching swine flu or prevent spreading it," Howard Scwartz from the Better Business Bureau told WTNH in New Haven.
For the tech savvy, IntuApps is currently waiting for Apple to approve their Swine Flu Tracker for iPhones.
The application includes a map showing confirmed and suspected cases, the current threat level for the swine flu, a symptoms area and a page dedicated to breaking news on the topic, TechCrunch reported.
Graphic designers and online retailers are offering swinophobes everywhere the chance to make a fashion statement — even as they ward off the deadly bug.
It's been barely a week since the H1N1 virus seized hold of America's attention and immune systems, and the sartorial scrubs are already flying off the shelves.
Nuvo Accessories, an online retailer that is making animal-print and bandanna-style flu masks, said it's preparing to ship about 2,500 units it's sold in the past five days.
Orders started "coming from all over the place once we put up the Web site" at flufashion.net, said Jay Ginsberg, sales manager for Nuvo. "It's all over the world."
Ginsberg said his clients see the danger of the virus and are ordering his masks out of a necessity. "They don't think it's a joke," he said.
Even unadorned masks are selling. On Amazon.com, swine flu masks are currently the No. 4 seller in women's apparel, beating out another strapped accessory: the bra.
Other products promise to keep frightened people "safe" from the virus. Companies advertizing flu-related items such as hand sanitizers, vitamins and even thermometers are trying to cash in on the flu frenzy as well.
In response, pharmacies and other retailers nationwide are stocking up on swine flu products in anticipation for a heightened demand.
Click here to read more from WTNH.com.
Click here to read more on this story from TechCrunch.
FOXNews.com's Joseph Abrams contributed to this report.