FACT CHECK: Did BBC News Report Video Games Are Causing A Rise In Heart Attacks And Blood Clots?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows a BBC News article titled “Experts say that the cause of rising cases of heart attacks and blood clots are VIDEO GAMES.”

Facebook/Screenshot

Facebook/Screenshot

Verdict: False

There is no record of BBC News publishing the article. It appears to be fabricated.

Fact Check:

The image of the purported BBC News article has been circulating on social media websites in recent days. In the alleged article, the byline lists “Shillus Pfizerius,” supposedly a health and science correspondent, as the author, and a “coronavirus pandemic” topic button appears beneath it.

There is, however, no record of BBC News publishing an article with that headline. A search of the media organization’s website didn’t turn up any matching stories. The supposed article also cannot be found on BBC News’ verified Twitter accounts or Facebook pages. (RELATED: Did The BBC Air This Chyron Reporting Bobi Wine Will Be Sworn In As Uganda’s President?)

Furthermore, there is no BBC News health and science correspondent named “Shillus Pfizerius.” The byline in the fake article is likely meant to be a play on “shill” and “Pfizer,” a pharmaceutical company that developed a COVID-19 vaccine that received FDA approval for people ages 16 and up. The mentions of heart attacks and blood clots in the fabricated headline may be a reference to the rare cases of people developing myocarditis, pericarditis or thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome after COVID-19 vaccination.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states on its website that “myocarditis and pericarditis after COVID-19 vaccination are rare” and that most patients “with myocarditis or pericarditis who received care responded well to medicine and rest and felt better quickly.” The CDC also notes that Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine has a “rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination” for adult women under 50, but that the benefits of being vaccinated outweigh the risks.

Over 202.8 million people in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Wednesday, according to data from the CDC. Both the CDC and the World Health Organization state on their respective websites that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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