Nipah Virus hoax
After social media was abuzz with fake messages on detection of Nipah virus in Dibrugarh, one Dr Amrit Baruah, whose name has been used in the fake message that went viral in Assam, has filed an FIR with the Dibrugarh Police Station on Friday.
Nipah Virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans. The natural host of the virus is fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family.
After false message became viral on social media, on being intimated, Dr Baruah approached the police stating that miscreants are trying to defame him and create a fear psychosis among the people.
Quoting Dr. Baruah, the fake message further mentioned that “thousands of people will die within a week”. The message stated that Dr Baruah “is also affected and he went to various doctors but sickness can’t be cured (sic)”. The message further reads: “Dr Baruah said that he may die soon due to liver infection and he is already standing near the graveyard (sic)”.
The complete fake message reads as: “NIPAH VIRUS ARRIVED DIBRUGARH. EMERGECNY INFORMATION PLEASE NOTE IT DOWN SERIOUSLY. Many people are admitted in Dibrugarh Civil Hospital with strange sickness. Dr Amrit Baruah from Dibrugarh said that the sickness is coming from eating Lechees (Lechu). He said that if it is going on like this, thousands of people will die within a week. Please tell the children not to eat lechees. The lechees are eaten by bats and people are getting strange sickness. It is affecting the liver and Dr Baruah is also affected. He went to various doctors but sickness can’t’ be cured. Dr Baruah said that he may die soon due to liver infection and he is already standing near the graveyard. Please forward this message if you want to save your children (sic).”
Speaking to the media on Saturday, Dr Baruah said, “I have filed an FIR against the circulation of such fake messages. Such messages are created only to create a fear psychosis among the people.”
Meanwhile, another such fake message is doing the rounds. This message states that the sickness is coming from eating lechees (Lechu) (sic).”
On the other hand, Meghalaya Health Department is also seeking action over the circulation of a fake message via messenger app WhatsApp on the detection of a ‘strange sickness’ in East Garo Hills. The fake message stated many people have been admitted to Williamnagar Civil Hospital with symptoms similar to Nipah virus.