A viral message on social media claims that Hyderabad Police alerted the public against consuming soft drinks like Maaza, Fanta, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, etc. as an employee from one of these companies allegedly mixed his blood, contaminated with the Ebola virus, into the product. Through this article let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Hyderabad Police warned the public against contamination of cool drinks with the Ebola virus.
Fact: Neither the Hyderabad police nor the Government of India has issued any such advisory alerting about the contamination of cool drinks with Ebola virus. This has been confirmed by clarifications from both the Hyderabad police and PIB. Additionally, there are no reports suggesting such contamination. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
The Hyderabad police have not released any such advisory advising the public to avoid consuming soft drinks. Further, we could not find any news reports of contamination of beverages with the Ebola virus. In the past, when similar news circulated in 2019, the Hyderabad police explicitly refuted the allegations. They took to Twitter to debunk the report as fake.
An identical message has been circulating, falsely attributing it to the Indian government. However, PIB Fact Check has clarified that the claim is untrue, stating that the government has not issued any such advisory.
Previously, Factly has debunked similar claims that arose when certain images went viral in connection with the message. The fact-check article can be read here.
The Ebola virus:
Ebola virus disease (EVD), previously referred to as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe and frequently fatal illness that impacts both humans and other primates. The virus is transmitted to humans from wild animals. Within the human population, the virus can further spread through human-to-human transmission.
In 1976, the Ebola Virus Disease made its initial appearance through simultaneous outbreaks in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since then, ebolaviruses have emerged periodically, infecting individuals in various countries.
Most recently, on 20 September 2022, an Ebola outbreak was reported in Mubende district, located in western Uganda, specifically caused by the Sudan ebolavirus. However, on 11 January 2023, the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Uganda officially declared the conclusion of the Ebola disease outbreak caused by the Sudan ebolavirus. The history of Ebola disease outbreaks can be seen here.
To sum it up, a fake Alert Message alleging contamination of cool drinks with Ebola virus is falsely attributed to Hyderabad police.