Man Detained For Bird Flu Rumors on WeChat

Reuters reports that a man surnamed Zhou has been detained for causing panic with a graphic rumor on WeChat about the “arrival of bird flu” in Hubei:

“The post was spread widely among netizens and aroused panic among the public,” it said, adding that Hubei’s health officials had dismissed the rumor as untrue, since the province had yet to report human cases of the H7N9 bird flu virus.

In the post, Xinhua cited Zhou as saying, “A doctor from Yichang People’s Hospital died of H7N9 at 4:21 a.m. yesterday.”

The doctor was a pregnant woman aged 31, he added, and included a dramatic touch.

“A baby is still in the mother’s belly and doctors who participated in the emergency treatment have been quarantined,” he said. “Multiple cases of human H7N9 infection were also found in other regions in the province.” [Source]

The report adds that “China has reported more than 120 human H7N9 cases this year, including at least 31 deaths.” A new strain of the virus called H10N8 which emerged this winter has also led to increased concern. Read more about bird flu in China via CDT.

February 13, 2014 5:49 PM
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