Tag Archives: infection

Viral bananas? Hoax rumour spreads in Mozambique

5 Dec

From the Daily What:

Sales of curved yellow fruit have dropped significantly in Mozambique following the circulation of a rumor that bananas were infecting people with necrotising fasciitis — a skin-eating disease.

“From the work conducted by the Ministries of Agriculture, Health and Trade and Industry, it was concluded that there is no record of entry of any infected banana in the country,” said the country’s health minister in a statement.

The rumor, which spread virally via email and text, specifically warned consumers to avoid bananas from the neighbouring South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. The decline in bananas sales surprised the government, as Mozambique doesn’t import bananas from South Africa.

The agriculture ministry in South Africa was forced to release a similar statement countering claims made by the hoax email — particularly the part about burning skin surrounding a suspected area of infection.

This recent hoax appears to be a direct descendant of a similar urban legend that came to be known as “The Great Internet Banana Scare of 2000.”

[afp.]