Did the World Health Organization (WHO) predict a new virus called "Disease X" that will turn humans into zombies and that is expected to hit the world soon, leading to lockdowns and deaths in the millions? No, that's not true. The WHO did not prophesize that there would be a "Disease X," but it launched a global scientific process in November 2022 to study and compile evidence on over 25 virus families, bacteria, and "Disease X," -- a name for an as-yet unknown pathogen that could cause a serious international epidemic, according to a WHO statement released on November 21, 2022.
The 12-second video in Arabic, which was translated into English by Lead Stories, listed guidelines on ways to shield oneself against what the hashtag labelled as "zombies" and "Disease X."
Train to run fast, climb and swim. Wear a mask at all times and don't touch anyone. Don't forget to start storing food and water. If nobody believes that there is an imminent epidemic, don't say this is a lie, so that when it (the virus) spreads, you'd be prepared.
This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:
(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Sep 28 12:48:48 2023 UTC)
Other TikTok videos went as far as offering advice on how to fight, or even kill, the infected humans turned into zombies. One of the videos claimed that several nations worldwide have already been destroyed by the "zombie virus." In a brief footage, the video showed a creature crawling on its hands and feet, saying it was a zombie in Iraq.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States published a report in 2011 outlining ways of preparedness in case of a health emergency. The guidelines depicted a graphic novel titled: "Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic," which the agency said demonstrated the "importance of being prepared in an entertaining way that people of all ages will enjoy." The CDC said readers follow novel characters Todd, Julie, and their dog Max as a "strange new disease begins spreading, turning ordinary people into zombies."
WebMD, an American company that publishes online news and information about drugs, human health and well-being, said in a report published in March 2023 that the term "zombie viruses" is used to describe previously dormant viruses that "had been frozen in ice for tens of thousands of years, about 27,000 to 48,500 years ago."
The Daily Loud, an online site for hip-hop music and news, claimed in a post on X, previously known as Twitter, that scientists have revived a "zombie" virus that spent 48,500 years frozen in permafrost.
Scientists have revived a "zombie" virus that spent 48,500 years frozen in permafrost 😳 pic.twitter.com/jyKtVTKODH-- Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) March 9, 2023
But Poynter, a Florida-based institute and newsroom that provides fact-checking, media literacy and journalism ethics, stressed in a report published on September 28, 2023, that it was unlikely that dormant viruses could resuscitate under global warming. It said scientists have found that within melting permafrost there are ancient viruses and bacteria, some previously unknown to science. However, it added that "most of these viruses can only infect amoebas, and while there might be some frozen viruses preserved in permafrost out there that could once infect humans, experts agree that it's very unlikely for those types of viruses to come back to life."