Zika Virus Found in Bananas Shipment, CDC Warns: Fact Check


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Zika Virus Found in Bananas Shipment, CDC Warns

Story:

Zika Virus Found in Recent Shipment of Bananas; CDC is Warning of Safety Concerns

Fact Check:

Around May 2019 some social media users started sharing a ‘breaking news’ about Zika Virus found in a recent shipment of Bananas. They carried a picture allegedly showing Zika virus infected Banana. They also mentioned the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned of safety concerns. Not to worry, the claims are not true.

Zika Virus Found in Bananas?

The claim in question originated from an August 2017 article on Breaking 13 News website breaking13news.com published with same title. The article mentioned about Public health officials finding 2 million bananas shipment from Ecuador to the U.S, contaminated with the Zika Virus. It also claimed hospitalization of 125 people across United States for confirmed Zika virus symptoms. After the alleged Zika outbreak in the U.S, the article said CDC asked consumers to discard bananas purchased in last 10 days.

Screenshot of the article on Breaking 13 News website
Screenshot of the article on Breaking 13 News website

Despite the claims, we didn’t find any evidence to support the claims of Zika virus found in such Bananas shipment. It is a fact, large outbreaks of travel-associated Zika virus took place in Americas in 2015 and 2016. But as per CDC reports, the number of reported Zika virus disease cases in U.S started to decline in 2017. In 2019 as of 5th June, 2 cases of Zika virus disease in a traveler returning from an affected area are reported in US States. In US Territories, 18 cases acquired through presumed local mosquito-borne transmission are reported. However, CDC did not mention any Zika virus found in Bananas or related outbreak through eating them.

In reality, we saw Breaking 13 News website is publishing many outrageous, false stories like this. On 5th June 2019, they published a fake news article saying a Woman contracted Herpes Virus from Semen found on McDonald’s Mayonnaise.

As far as the accompanying picture of Banana is concerned, it does not show Zika virus infection. It in fact shows a Banana infected with Panama disease which rotted and became unfit for human consumption.

Hoax or Fact:

Hoax.


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