Fabricated Screenshot of BBC News Post on Monkeypox Goes Viral

The viral post makes several misleading claims about monkeypox like it being airborne, similar to herpes, etc.

4 min read
Fabricated Screenshot of BBC News Post on Monkeypox Goes Viral

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A post carrying fake information about the monkeypox virus has gone viral on the internet as a BBC News graphic. The post states that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has classified the virus as an airborne disease. It goes on to state that it is a form of herpes which can further lead to paralysis.

The claim comes amidst the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring the virus as a global health emergency. The United States has also recently declared it as a national emergency. These declarations have led to a lot of fake information circulating around the monkeypox virus.

We found the information mentioned in the viral post to be false. The WebQoof team did not find any proof on the official websites of the CDC and WHO to support the claims made.



The viral graphic suggests the monkeypox to be airborne and can infect anybody within 15 feet. It also mentions the illness typically lasts for 2-4 months and that the disease has been classified as a form of herpes. The final claim of the graphic is that the virus can possibly make an infected individual paralyzed.

An archive of the post can be seen here

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot) 

Similar archives can be found here, here, and here.



Is Monkeypox Airborne?

While checking the CDC official website, we did not find any proof that supported the claim of the virus being an air-borne disease. People with the virus typically get a rash usually located on or near the genitals and could also be on other body areas like the chest, hands, feet, or face.

The WHO website provides verified information on the monkeypox virus

(Source: WHO website/Screenshot) 

The virus can spread through direct physical contact or by coming in contact with an object or fabric used by an infected person. The website mentioned that it can also spread during intimate contact. It is also possible for an individual to catch the virus from an infected animal. However, there is no such evidence to prove that anybody within 15 feet can catch the virus.

However, the CDC in some previous communications has mentioned the need for protective equipment for airborne diseases to prevent the spread of monkeypox.

The Health Desk, a COVID-19 resource for journalists powered by public health experts, also said that there is evidence suggesting that the virus can also be airborne over short distances.

"For example, during a monkeypox outbreak in Nigeria in 2017, there were recorded cases of airborne transmission among health care workers who did not have direct contact with patients and within a prison where there was no direct contact.

However, these data are case examples and not findings from a robust study. As a result, the extent to which airborne transmission plays into the overall spread of the virus is not currently clear," the Health Desk said.

Most viral infections that can be airborne, such as tuberculosis and measles which are primarily airborne, are only likely to spread up to 7 or so feet, the Health Desk added.


Is Monkeypox a Form of Herpes?

No, monkeypox virus belongs to the larger viral family known as poxviridae while herpes belongs to a different viral family known as the herpesviridae.

This clearly indicates that the claim of it being a form of herpes is false.

How Long Do Symptoms Last and Can it Cause Paralysis?

According to the CDC and WHO, the symptoms of the virus typically lasts for 2-4 weeks. This clearly shows the claim of the illness lasting for 2-4 months is false nor did we find any mention of monkeypox causing paralysis.

What About the Viral Image?

We also found out that the graphic is similar to an actual post shared by the BBC News on its official Instagram handle. The news organization had shared a post on 23 July to raise awareness about the virus among people.

There are similarities in the templates of the post. However, the content in the viral graphic is completely different from the original.

(Source: Instagram/Altered by The Quint)

It can be figured out that both the graphics have the same template design but the content in the viral graphic is completely different from the original one shared by the BBC News.

A spokesperson of BBC News confirmed to Reuters that the news organisation did not make the graphic.

Evidently, a fake graphic carrying misinformation about the monkeypox virus is being circulated on the internet.


(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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Topics:  World Health Organisation   CDC   Factcheck 

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