STAMFORD, Conn., Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Ebola plush toys have been selling so fast in response to this year's outbreak that a Connecticut manufacturer, Giantmicrobes Inc., can't keep them in stock.
The company, which was founded a decade ago, makes stuffed toys based on the appearance of microbes like Ebola, Chicken pox, bed bugs, and even non-harmful microscopic organisms things like brain and red blood cells.
The items are meant to be educational tools for young children, Laura Sullivan, vice president of operations, told CBS News.
"It started with the common cold and similar things," she said. "It was marketed to pediatricians and parents initially. The idea is that kids respond favorably to stuffed animals."
"It's a neat little product," she added. "In the case of Ebola, it's been a helpful way for families talk about it and take some of the scariness away."
Giantmicrobes began offering a plush version of the Ebola virus about five years ago, but now the company has a hard time keeping it in stock.
"They're selling like hot cakes. We're out of stock again," Sullivan said, adding that the company has increased production with Chinese manufacturers.
The plush version of Ebola — which comes in two sizes — is only available for sale on the Giantmicrobes website.