No, BBC Did Not Link Black Fungus To Cow Urine; Viral Image Is Fake

The screenshot falsely claims BBC reported scientists finding links between cow urine and rising cases of black fungus.

An image purporting to be a screenshot of a BBC news article claiming Indian scientists have found cow urine to be linked to rising black fungus cases, is fake and morphed.

The screenshot viral on WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter is being shared to claim that the increasing cases of mucormycosis or black fungus as it is known, has links to cow urine.

The image is being shared with various captions in multiple languages incluidng Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi and Malayalam on Facebook.

(Note: Some readers may find the below image disturbing)


A search using relevant keywords showed that the BBC did not carry any such story about cow urine being linked to cases of black fungus. We noticed that the screenshot carried the byline of Soutik Biswas, a correspondent with BBC in India and a search for his stories led us to one published on May 9 about the increasing cases of Mucormycosis in India.

We compared the published BBC story with the morphed screenshot and found several difference in the font, the style sheet and also noticed grammatical errors in the fake image.

The image carried in the fake screenshot is not the same as the image in the original BBC article.

Further the fake story body has the text, "Scientists in India have discovered a link of the blank fungus infection with cow urine. Doctors say there is a link with steroids used to treat Covid and reaction to cow urine and have urged the Government to make the public aware of the risks. India has reported more than 8, 800 cases of deadly "blank fungus" in a growing epidemic and have urged the public to avoid cow urine. Doctors have told the BBC it seems to strike 12 to 18 days after recovery from covid" but the original article does not have any information and starts with the story of a Mumbai based eye surgeon who who operated on a woman diagnosed with black fungus.

See below:

We further ran a search for the image used in the fake screenshot and found that the same has been widely used to show effects of mucormycosis. We found the same image in websites with test questions to help medical students with one of them describing it as, "A 45 year old woman with type 1 diabetes mellitus (on insulin) is admitted for pain and bulging of the left eye. She has recently run out of insulin and began giving herself half of her normal dose."

The BBC Press Office issued a statement saying, "This is a fake post. We would urge audiences to check our website"

Updated On: 2021-05-26T18:23:35+05:30
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