Back to Africa Check

Social media posts about Marburg virus outbreak in Nigeria false

A Twitter post claims there has been a Marburg virus outbreak in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. The claim has also been made on several Facebook pages, including here, here and here.

Marburg is a rare but severe illness that is transmitted to humans from fruit bats and is often fatal in humans. (Read our factsheet on Marburg virus here.)

The 16 August 2022 tweet includes a letter dated 12 August 2022 which appears to be from the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital. It is signed by Sani Suleiman, a deputy director at the hospital.

One of the Facebook posts reads: “Almost a month after the World Health Organization confirmed an outbreak of Marburg virus in neighbouring Ghana, a Nigerian hospital has notified the hospital community of ‘an outbreak’ of the virus.”

But has there an outbreak of Marburg virus in Nigeria in August 2022?

Marburg_False

NCDC: There is no current Marburg virus outbreak in Nigeria

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, or NCDC, manages the country’s response to infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies.

“There is currently no outbreak of #MarburgVirusDisease in Nigeria,” the NCDC tweeted on 14 August 2022. “However, measures such as heightened surveillance, diagnosis & rapid response teams are in place to prevent & mitigate an outbreak of the disease in-country.”

In July, the agency said it was on high alert after two West African countries – Ghana and Guinea – reported cases of the virus. It rated the risk of importing the virus into Nigeria as “moderate”, given the traffic from Ghana to Nigeria.

Updates on the agency’s verified Facebook and Twitter pages as of 24 August 2022 also showed that Nigeria had not recorded any cases of the Marburg virus.

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.