Chinese social media users estimate that at least a dozen countries, including the United Kingdom, Spain and Australia, may now be the source of the monkeypox infection.
The viral infection has been highlighted as a trending topic on the popular social media platform Weibo for the past three days.
Although Chinese state media has refrained from accusing the United States of deliberately spreading monkeypox – a complaint about Covid-19 – many social media users have not backed down.
A 2021 report on biosecurity preparedness plans by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a U.S. non-governmental organization, which included a view of a monkeypox epidemic, was taken out of context to suggest that the U.S. government knew the outbreak was imminent.
Nationalist influencer Shu Chang, with 6.41 million Weibo followers, deliberately misinterpreted the report and posted that it showed “a plan to leak US bioengineered monkeypox virus.”
The post has been liked by over 7,500 users and received over 660 comments, many of whom agree with it. One said the United States was “evil beyond the imagination of mankind.”
Posts about pushing this conspiracy theory have been liked thousands of times on Weibo.
The rare and potentially deadly cousin of the smallpox virus has traditionally been confined to Africa, but health officials are concerned about its recent widespread spread to Europe, North America and elsewhere. No cases were found in China.
Misinformation about health spread in China and the United States during the Kovid epidemic. The two countries were at odds over the origin of the virus. Beijing has unconfirmed claims that the virus was created at a U.S. military base, while some U.S. media outlets have questioned whether the virus was leaked from a research facility in Wuhan, the city where Kovid was first identified.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)