Another silly version of this hoax that came trending some years back claiming Paracetamol is infected with Machupo Virus is here once again. The claims in the message are nothing but lies, a research into the issue has revealed. Before we walk you through the facts, find below, a quote of the WhatsApp version as received (scroll down to check the facts, if you need to skip this):
Be careful not to take the paracetamol that comes written P / 500. It is a new, very white and shiny paracetamol, doctors prove to contain “Machupo” virus, considered one of the most dangerous viruses in the world. And with high mortality rate. Please share this message, for all people and family. And save life from them ….. I’ve done my part, now it’s your turn … remember that God helps those who help.”
Below is a screenshot of the WhatsApp version that has flamed the whole world, especially Ghana, so to speak now:
A Hoax? Yes! But Why?
The facts about the said Machupo Virus will help if you take a few minutes to go through. A research in Machupo Virus as published online, shows the virus causes hemorrhagic fever and its “initial symptons may include conjunctival injection, mild hypertension, flushing, bleeding gums and cavities, headache, arthralgia, and petechial haemorrhages. Symptoms can further develop into shock and generalized mucous membrane haemorrhage, epistaxis, haematemesis, melena, haematuria, accompanied by neurological damage such as tremor, seizures, and coma(4)” says a report on the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website.
What of the mode of transmission? The same report adds:
“The spread of the virus is primarily by aerosol transmission of dust particles from infected rodents excreta or secreta(1). Nosocomial transmission has also been observed.”―Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
According to the report above and many other reliable ones, it is logical to conclude that the virus will likely not be able to withstand the mechanical and chemical processes involved in the manufacturing of the said Paracetamol tablet. Although some similar viruses may be able to live outside their host in some blood specimen within relatively shorter periods, but the same, surviving external environments weeks or months is actually impossible.
How should this message be treated?
There is no press release on the official Food and Drug Authority’s website that confirms the report in the “news” being forwarded on social media, especially Facebook and WhatsApp. Hence this message is a hoax and should be treated as such.
Forwarding such messages adds to the problem of making health service and medical prescriptions difficult for health officials as this creates fear and panic in anybody that gets a tip of this rumor.
If you get any message of such nature, kindly ignore the claims and report the issue to any authorized health administrator or to any of the FDA’s online contact numbers (follow the link provided for a list of FDA’s official contacts).
Please SHARE this to create public awareness.