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HomeFact CheckDo P-500 Paracetamol Pills Contain Fatal Machupo Virus?  Here’s The Truth Behind...

Do P-500 Paracetamol Pills Contain Fatal Machupo Virus?  Here’s The Truth Behind Viral Alert

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Claim
P-500 Paracetamol tablets contain Machupo virus, which has high mortality rate.

Fact
“Advisory” was found to be a recurring hoax with no scientific basis.

Several social media users are circulating what appears to be an advisory against Paracetamol tablets, specifically P-500, urging recipients to forward the message to family members.  According to the viral forward, the “new, very white and shiny” tablets contain the “Machupo virus” that has a high mortality rate.

We received this claim on our Whatsapp tipline (9999499044), too, requesting it to be fact-checked.

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Fact check

Newschecker first ran a keyword search for “paracetamol Machupo virus”, which led us to this Singapore government advisory, dated August 2, 2017, stating that a “hoax” alert claiming the Machupo virus is found in Paracetamol P-500 tablets is “inaccurate and not a cause for concern”.

According to the advisory, the Machupo virus, or the Bolivian haemorrhagic fever (BHF) virus, causes symptoms such as fever, muscle pains, bleeding gums and seizures. The Machupo virus infection is contracted by direct contact with the virus, which has been shown to be transmitted mainly by the saliva, faeces and urine of infected rodents. To date, Machupo virus infections have only been documented in South America.

A news report by Thailand-based The Nation, dated November 4, 2020, stated that the country’s Digital Economy and Society Ministry, too, has debunked the alert. “Moreover, the Machupo virus cannot develop in a dry place, therefore the chance it could have contaminated a tablet is extremely low,” the report said.

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We reached out to Dr Dipin Sudhakaran, senior resident doctor at AIIMS, Delhi, who confirmed the viral alert is a hoax and has no scientific basis. “Virus needs a host to survive. Without a host, it won’t last long in a non-living thing like a Paracetamol tablet. This hoax has been circulating around for a while.”

Also read: George Soros Is Alive, Viral Post Claiming He Died Of Heart Attack Is Fabricated

Conclusion

Viral alert warning against a fatal Machupo virus being found in Paracetamol (P-500) tablets was found to be false.

Result: False

Sources
Singapore government advisory, August 2, 2017
The Nation report, November 4, 2020
Conversation with Dr Dipin Sudhakaran


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Kushel HM
Kushel HM
Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

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