The trauma brought about by the Tsunami Asian Disaster has recently spawned an unnecessary sick hoax that has been going around the mobile phones of most south east asian residents.
I got the SMS message this morning from Tito Rolly that read like this:
"PLS ALERT EVERYBODY: VERY DANGEROUS ZULICAN VIRUS IS SPREADING THROUGH SOUTHEAST ASIAN FOOD. SO PLS AVOID EATING SEAFOOD AND PASS THIS MESSAGE TO ALL YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS. This came from my child who is a doctor."
The only thing worse than believing this hoax is passing it to more people and causing more confusion.
The other sick thing about the SMS is that the word "doctor" is attached, making it sound like it came from a health authority. Pure baloney.
I may be a young doctor, but I'm certain there's no living microorganism that exists going by the name of Zulican virus. It only thrives I guess in the minds of pranksters and other jokers who have nothing better to do but spread more fear from the recent disaster.
The joker who did this might have thought of the possible corpses still unfound in the Indian Ocean which might have been eaten by aquatic animals like fish and other seafood.
Creative, yes...but a very, very sick joke.
Please disregard this message. Health officials from at least 5 countries has already confirmed what I said above: THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A ZULICAN VIRUS.
What you can do to help: Click on the Tsunami Relief button on the upper left hand corner of this weblog to find out how we can extend help to the victims.
Health officials from the Philippines, Malaysia, India, Singapore and Australia said the virus named in the text messages did not exist.
The text message which spread like wildfire states: "Alert everyone: very dangerous virus, Zulican virus is spreading through seafood. So please avoid eating seafood and pass this message to all of your friends."
Health authorities assured that eating fish is safe and no such virus existed.
World Health Organization Representative to the Philippines, Jean Marc Olivé in a television interview said governments should instead be concern about safe water especially in tsunami hit countries.