Ebola.com Owners Hope to Sell the Site for $150,000

Liberia Ebola
Abbas Dulleh/APHealth workers in Liberia wait to carry the body of a suspected Ebola victim.
The Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has been brutal. There have been 8,400 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 4,033 confirmed deaths, and the outlook is only getting more grim, according to the World Health Organization. But the scary statistics could mean a windfall for some foresightful investors who figured that someday, we'd all be worried about this deadly plague.

Nevada-based Blue String Ventures bought the domain name ebola.com in 2008 and hopes to sell it now for $150,000, according to CNBC. "We've had many inquiries on the domain over the years," Jon Schultz, president of Blue String Ventures, said.

Blue String Ventures buys domain names that it thinks will eventually grow in value when companies or organizations suddenly want to be associated with an idea or topic. The firm owns domain names like Fukushima.com, referring to the nuclear plant meltdown in Japan, as well as health- or dietary supplement-related ones, including GreenCoffeeExtract.com and BirdFlu.com

For now, the page ebola.com includes various links. One is to an ebook claiming that nutritional supplements might help cure the disease; another is to a site that sells that supplement.

Commercial Interest Said to Be Unlikely

"Having seen the movie 'Outbreak,' I was entranced by the subject and couldn't resist buying the domain," Schultz told CNBC.

Large pharmaceutical firms and smaller biotech startups working on treatments or cures for Ebola have reportedly been approached about buying the site, but so far there have apparently been no takers.

That isn't surprising. Pharmaceutical companies generally focus on diseases with a much larger rate of incidence or where the patients have health insurance or enough personal wealth to pay well for help. Ebola requires government subsidies to combat it, and it likely won't generate commercial interest otherwise.

In case you're interested, ebolacure.com is also taken, although it's owned by a company that uses a service to keep its actual name out of official Web records.
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