A fake news voice note is currently doing the rounds on social media, claiming another deadly virus will hit the world and that South Africa will impost another hard lockdown as a result.
According to Strand Patrol News & Info, the voice note features a woman’s voice. She says that another deadly disease called Hantavirus is expected in November. It also claims that the police and army have been given orders to shoot anybody walking in the streets, and that government is planning a level 6 lockdown.
The voice note is fake news, and its concerns are misguided. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) describes Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) as a severe, sometimes fatal, respiratory disease in humans caused by infection with hantaviruses. Anyone who comes into contact with rodents that carry hantaviruses is at risk of HPS. Rodent infestation in and around the home remains the primary risk for hantavirus exposure.
HPS is not a new disease, it has been around for decades and the majority of the cases have been reported in Asia, Europe and North America, and is rare in South Africa.
The hantaviruses that cause human illness in the United States cannot be transmitted from one person to another. For example, you cannot get these virus from touching or kissing a person who has HPS or from a healthcare worker who has treated someone with the disease.
There are several other ways rodents may spread hantavirus to people:
– If a rodent with the virus bites someone, the virus may be spread to that person, but this type of transmission is rare.
– Scientists believe that people may be able to get the virus if they touch something that has been contaminated with rodent urine, droppings, or saliva, and then touch their nose or mouth.
– Scientists also suspect people can become sick if they eat food contaminated by urine, droppings, or saliva from an infected rodent.