FACT CHECK: Did BBC News Share This Graphic About Monkeypox Being Airborne?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims to show a BBC News graphic about monkeypox being airborne and causing paralysis.

Verdict: False

The image is fabricated. BBC News did not create the graphic, according to a spokesperson for the outlet.

Fact Check:

Monkeypox has spread across the world, with over 7,500 confirmed cases in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An image shared on Facebook claims to show a BBC News graphic with information about the disease.

“What you need to know about monkeypox,” reads the image’s topline. It goes on to claim that the CDC stated the virus is airborne, that it is now classified as a type of herpes, can last two to four months and can lead to paralysis.

The graphic is fabricated. Check Your Fact searched the BBC News website as well as its verified Twitter account but found no record of it. A BBC News spokesperson confirmed in an email to Check Your Fact that the graphic was not real and urged people to check the veracity of stories on the BBC News website.

The claims made in the post are likewise false. There is no evidence to suggest the CDC stated the virus is airborne. Rather, the center states on its website that the disease is spread “through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids” and by “respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex.” It likewise states that the illness lasts two to three weeks, not two to four months. Check Your Fact found no evidence to suggest the CDC or the World Health Organization (WHO) classifies the virus as herpes or stated it could cause paralysis.

Kate Fowlie, a CDC spokesperson, confirmed to Check Your Fact in an email statement that the information in the graphic “isn’t correct.”

“Monkeypox virus is a completely different virus than those that cause COVID-19 or measles,” added Fowlie. “It is not known to linger in the air and is not transmitted during short periods of shared airspace.”

A WHO spokesperson likewise confirmed in an email to Check Your Fact that the information in the graphic is false. (RELATED: FACT CHECK: Did The FDA Approve A Pfizer Monkeypox Vaccine?)

There is some evidence to suggest that monkeypox can be airborne, according to The New York Times. The outlet notes that the CDC briefly recommended wearing a mask as a means of preventing the transmission of monkeypox, which suggests that “On occasion, monkeypox can be transmitted through aerosols.”

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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