VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Videos do NOT show zombie outbreaks in China, India


A couple of videos published by a Facebook (FB) user supposedly featuring zombie outbreaks in China and India continue to circulate almost a month after they first appeared.

There are no zombie outbreaks occurring in these two countries.The videos that emerged on April 6 carry the following fabricated headlines:

  • “Zombie virus in China” and;
  • “Humans turn[ed] zombies”

The first video is an amateur shot featuring a huge crowd of people walking on a street in China before the camera panned to the left, showing rows of cars in bumper-to-bumper traffic blocking the street ahead. This video actually shows the annual celebration of China’s Lantern Festival. A couple of videos taken from a different angle of the festival showed this occurred on Feb. 6 at the Yangshi District of Luoyang.

A Feb. 7 Chinese forum post also carried screenshots of the same video where online users talked about their experiences during the festivities.

The second video shows a news report from an Indian news network allegedly about a fungus that can turn people into zombies. This Jan. 29 WION news report referred to the hit series “The Last of Us,” a TV show adaptation of a video game set in a fictional post-apocalypse scenario where a fungus turned humans into zombies.

The TV show describes a post-pandemic mass outbreak of a zombie fungus called cordyceps. While scientists say it is real fungus, it does not infect the human body.

These videos continued to gain traction after the Department of Health reported the first case of the Omicron subvariant XBB.1.16, also known as the Arcturus variant, detected in Western Visayas. 

The FB netizen’s two videos have collectively garnered over 2,500 reactions, 380 comments, 1,800 shares and 315,000 views.

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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)