As the COVID-19 pandemic rolls on and variants of the coronavirus emerge, hospitals and other healthcare facilities continue their struggles to find enough personal protective equipment (PPE). Shortages emerged nearly a year ago, and though supplies of masks, gloves and face shields have improved, workers in healthcare facilities too often must contend with inadequate PPE supplies. Now they also must deal with the possibility of knockoffs.
U.S. federal agents have seized more than 10 million fake N95 masks in recent weeks, the result of an ongoing investigation into counterfeits sold to hospitals, medical facilities and government agencies, according to ABC News.
The most recent seizures occurred recently when U.S. Department of Homeland Security agents intercepted hundreds of thousands of counterfeit 3M brand masks in a warehouse, officials said.
Investigators also notified about 6,000 potential victims in at least 12 states, including hospitals, medical facilities and others who might have unknowingly purchased knockoffs, urging them to stop using the apparently medical-grade masks. The phony masks have not been tested against strict N95 standards and could put frontline medical workers at risk if used while treating patients with COVID-19.
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