Edited image of BBC viral claiming Monkeypox is an airborne disease

Altered Health

BBC has not published the viral message. The image is edited.

As World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Monkeypox virus as a global health emergency, a lot of false information is also circulating around the Monkeypox virus. The United States has recently declared it as a national emergency.

Amidst this, an image carrying information about the monkeypox virus has widely circulating on social media with the claim that BBC News published this image. The post states that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has classified the virus as an airborne disease. It goes on to state that it is a form of herpes, which can further lead to paralysis.

However, we found that the viral image is edited and no such information has been posted by the WHO and CDC.

The caption of the image states, “Monkey pox now classified as a form of herpes.”

Tweet | Archive Link 

Fact Check- 

We started our investigation by running keyword searches on Google and visiting the website of the CDC and WHO.

Where is the viral image from?
We scrolled through BBC’s Instagram profile and found that they posted the original image on 23 July 2022 with the caption “The monkeypox outbreak has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). The classification is the highest alert that the WHO can issue and follows a worldwide upsurge in cases. More than 16,000 cases have now been reported from 75 countries, said WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. #BBCNews

We can see that the second image in the carousal originally explains how the monkeypox virus spreads. The points given states that the virus spreads by touching clothing, beddings, towels, skin blisters and scab of an infected person. Direct contact during sex and coughing and sneezing can also spread the virus. 

Below you can see the comparison between the viral image and the original image. We can see that there is no mention of the monkeypox virus being an airborne disease or similar to herpes.

How does the virus spread?

According to CDC, Monkeypox spreads in a few ways. Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including:

  1. Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox.
  2. Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
  3. Contact with respiratory secretions.

This direct contact can happen during intimate contact, including:

  1. Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) of a person with monkeypox. 
  2. Hugging, massage, and kissing.
  3. Prolonged face-to-face contact.
  4. Touching fabrics and objects during sex that were used by a person with monkeypox and that have not been disinfected, such as bedding, towels, fetish gear, and sex toys.

A pregnant person can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.

You can read more about the Monkeypox virus here.


Fact Crescendo found the viral image to be edited. The viral image is edited. The original image does not mention that monkeypox virus as an airborne disease and it is a form of herpes. BBC has not published the viral message.


Title:Edited image of BBC viral claiming Monkeypox is an airborne disease

Fact Check By: Drabanti Ghosh 

Result: Altered