By Shannon Najmabadi
Image credit: @presidioofmonterey.
Just in case legitimate reports about the H7N9 virus-which has now claimed nine lives-aren’t scary enough, three people in Guizhou province have been detained for falsely claiming the virus had been detected in a local market.
Two netizens, surnamed Li and Cai, took to their microblogs to proclaim that the virus had been found in a live poultry market in the provincial capital Guiyang, inciting fear in local residents.
Their message was reposted numerous times online, with another netizen, surnamed Gong, actively encouraging the rumor’s spread.
As of Wednesday, China has reported 28 cases of H7N9, which have been found in the Shanghai municipality and Jiangsu, Anhui and Zhejiang provinces. However, no H7N9 cases have been reported in Guizhou, according to the public security bureau of Guiyang.
Li and Cai have been detained for five days; Gong for ten.