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COVID surge sparks misinformed run on canned oxygen in Japan

Prices soar despite warnings that product does not work as treatment

The price of canned oxygen on's Japanese site more than tripled to $25 last month.

TOKYO -- Prices for canned oxygen have skyrocketed in Japan, especially online, amid last month's surge in coronavirus cases, despite warnings from medical experts that it cannot be used to treat COVID-19 symptoms.

Canned oxygen is a recreational product used by athletes, mountain climbers and others as a portable supplement after heavy exertion. A container holding around five liters normally costs 700 yen to 900 yen ($6 to $8), manufacturer Iwatani says.

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