Monday, October 25, 2021
Monday, October 25, 2021
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Photograph Taken in 1985 Shared on Social Media in the Backdrop of COVID-19 Pandemic

A Facebook user shared a photograph of a woman holding a child her in her hands claiming that this picture was taken before the mother succumbed to the novel coronavirus in Italy.

The caption of the viral image, when translated to English, reads, ‘Such a disheartening incident. Female Corona patient in Italy was in the third stage and her 18-month-old child was crying a lot. The patient expressed her last wish that she wanted to hug her child once. The doctors covered her entire body, and as she holds the child, the child stopped crying, but the mother succumbed to the coronavirus.’

We found that the photograph was being shared on Facebook and Twitter with identical claims.

Several readers sent the viral pictures to Newschecker’s WhatsApp helpline number for verification.

Fact Check

With the help of reverse image search, we found the same image in Magnum Photos. The image viral on social media was clicked in 1985 at a cancer treatment centre in Seattle, USA by photojournalist Burt Glinn, before the baby’s bone marrow transplant and has no connection with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The caption of the image reads, “USA, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, 1985. Fred Hutchinson CancerCenter- Infant inside Laminar AirFlow Room protection from infection. The child has been irradiated prior to marrow transplant.”

We also found that the original photograph clicked by Burt Glinn is vertical, and one can see the mother in a standing position with her hands and face inserted into the laminar airflow box, whereas the image viral on social media is in a horizontal position. You can see the comparison here:


It is clear from our fact check that the photograph viral on social media, which shows a woman holding a child in her hands, is neither from Italy nor does it has any connection with coronavirus pandemic. The image was taken in 1985 at a cancer treatment center in Seattle, USA, by photojournalist Burt Glinn before the baby’s bone marrow transplant.


  • Google Reverse Image Search
  • Google Search

Result: Misleading

(If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form)

Shaminder Singh
Shaminder started off his career as a freelance journalist for a consulting and research firm. He has been a Political Strategist and Media Manager. Before joining Newschecker, he worked with various reputed media agencies like Daily Post India, PTC News.


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