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Hoax Alert! Paracetamol Tablets Do Not Contain ‘Machupo’ Virus

The Machupo Virus has so far only been documented in South America.

Updated
WebQoof
3 min read
Hoax Alert! Paracetamol Tablets Do Not Contain ‘Machupo’ Virus
i

CLAIM

A viral message on social media advises people against consuming paracetamol tablets with 'P-500' written on them.

The message reads:

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, with high mortality rate.
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IT’S FALSE!

The Machupo virus, also known as the ‘Bolivian hemorrhagic fever (BHF) virus’ has so far only been documented in South America. The virus is known to spread through direct contact with the saliva, faeces and urine of infected rodents.

NO CASES IN INDIA

Speaking to The Quint, Dr Jyothi Joshi Jain from the Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy said that no cases of Machupo virus had been reported in India as yet.

Dr Jain further said that the Indian government’s strict quality control with regards to drug manufacturing would not have let the Machupo virus, should it be present, go unnoticed.

We have a very strict quality control process, and the pharmaceutical industry in India adheres to the good manufacturing practice (GMP) system.
Dr Jyothi Joshi Jain from the Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy

She added that any contamination in the paracetamol tablets, as claimed in the messages, would have been reported to the Indian Pharmacopiea Commission, which is the regulatory authority for all drugs that are manufactured, sold and consumed in India.

HOAX RAMPANT IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA TOO

Indonesia's Drug and Food Administration department had earlier debunked this claim, by issuing an advisory asking citizens to not believe the claim.

Similarly, on 8 February 2017, the Malaysian government shot down rumours, stating that the health ministry “had not received any reports regarding paracetamol contamination from the concerned authorities or any other country”.

Singapore, too, on 2 August 2017, termed the message a "hoax".

Issuing a health advisory, the Health Sciences Authority said:

HSA assures the public that the content of the hoax “alert” is inaccurate and is not a cause for concern. Anyone who receives the hoax “alert” should not forward it to others as the information is untrue.

ADVISORY:

NO, Paracetamol will NOT give you the Machupo virus. However, overuse of pills, even over-the-counter painkillers, is not advisable. Paracetamol overuse has been linked to liver damage, increased BP, ulcers and several other health issues. In case of any adverse effects upon consumption of a prescribed medicine, please register a complaint with the IPC.

(Not convinced of a story you came across on social media and want it verified? Send us the details at WebQoof@TheQuint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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