A viral WhatsApp forward claiming the deadly novel Coronavirus has been discovered in broiler chickens, is false and the latest piece of misinformation surrounding the outbreak.
The message in Hindi claims the virus was discovered in broiler chickens and claims that the message is a public service appeal by the Muslim community in Khar, a suburb in Mumbai.
(Text of the original message: "BOILER CHICKEN ME KORONA VIRUS KO PAYA GAYA HAI. TAMAM LOGO SE APPEAL KI JATI HAI KE BOILER KE GOSHT KA ISTEMAL NA KARE.... MUSLIM COMMUNITY MUMBAI. KHAR. DUAA KI Appeal"
The message misspells both broiler and Coronavirus as 'boiler' and 'Koronavirus'. Broiler chickens are chickens that are bred specifically for meat production.
BOOM received the below message on its WhatsApp helpline with the request to check for its authenticity.
The post is also viral on social media with the same claims. The post is accompanied with pictures of meat and sick chickens.
Scientists have not yet identified the source of the 2019 novel Coronavirus which is believed to have originated from the Hunan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China.
Chickens in India cannot be linked to the virus which has so far claimed 427 lives and has more than 20,000 confirmed cases. Bats are suspected to be the primary source of the new virus through preliminary studies conducted in China and reported by the Lancet.
BOOM contacted Dr. Satyendra Swain, Director of Central Poultry Development Organization, Mumbai.
"This is a rumour. Broiler chicken is not a source of the new Coronavirus. This has not originated any where other than China and is being transmitted through human to human transmission," Dr. Swain stated.
When asked why broiler chicken is being targetted, he specified that animal based diets have always been riddled with misinformation.
BOOM asked Dr. Swain if broiler chickens are safe to eat. "If bred and reared in hygienic ways, broiler chickens do not pose a problem."
Unrelated photos viral with the message
On doing a reverse image search for two of the images, BOOM found that these images are old and not linked to the Coronavirus.
One of the images of a chicken with its eyes closed was originally from a website called 'Yellow Bread Shorts' where the chicken in the picture is suffering from an ailment called aspergillosis.
The other image of the chick was uploaded by Konto Mohammed for a research paper called 'An Outbreak of Colibacillosis in a Broiler Farm' from January 2014. The picture is captioned 'A sick chick with open mouthed breathing'
The broiler chicken misinformation adds to the growing list of misinformation surroundingCoronavirus. BOOM has been actively debunking misinformation around the virus.
#Thread🚨: Since the outbreak of #CoronaVirus, we have debunked #FakeNews around the novel Coronavirus. A WhatsApp forward is viral falsely claiming @MoHFW_INDIA has issued an emergency notification. (1/n) #CoronaVirusFacts @WHO https://t.co/0lbBu7FIfO— BOOM FactCheck (@boomlive_in) January 30, 2020
Updated On: 2020-02-05T11:31:04+05:30
Claim : Broiler Chicken has Coronavirus
Claimed By : Whatsapp and Facebook Users
Fact Check : False