A gruesome picture purporting to be that of a Liberian Ebola victim "risen from the dead" has gone viral online.
The image is accompanied with the words: “For the first time in human history, confirmed footage of a man who scientists watched die from Ebola then only several hours later, regain life and rise from the dead.” (sic)
It then cites Bible passage Isaiah 26:19-20: “Your dead shall live, their bodies shall rise.”
This image of a purported Ebola zombie victim has gone viral
Warning of a possible zombie apocalypse, the article the image appears in goes on to claim the Liberian government has accused the USA of “creating Ebola as a bioweapon to be used in future wars.”
Needless to say, it’s a fake.
The image is hosted on the website Big American News – home also to such juicy tales as CONFIRMED: Obama is infecting Christians with Ebola to destroy Jesus and Start a New Age of Liberal Darkness and PROOF: Scientists Confess Hadron Collider is a Torture Device for God Particle.
What's more,Hoax Slayer writes the image is actually a photoshopped screenshot from the zombie movie World War Z.
Health workers in protective gear spray each other with disinfectant after remoing the body of a woman suspected of dying from Ebola virus, in Monrovia, Liberia
Though it’s not authentic, the image has captured the attention of thousands – but why?
Liberia’s four million people have been the most severely hit by the worst outbreak of the Ebola virus in history, which has so far claimed around 1,500 deaths in the country alone.
It is thus unsurprising that the appetite for hope amidst the tragedy is so strong.
In the last fortnight, Liberian daily The New Dawn published a story claiming two Ebola patients in Nimba County who were killed by the virus had “resurrected”.
The paper claims the two female victims, believed to be in their 60s and 40s, “were about to be taken for burial when they resurrected.”
The story has been widely debunked, as was a further tale about a third victim of the virus coming back to life.
Internet sleuths Snopes rightly points out none of the reports address how the patients were declared dead, “or what transpired between that moment and their miraculous resurrections.”
The medical crew are startled as the man begins to stir
Indeed last week Huffington Post UK reported on a distressing incident where an Ebola patient thought to be dead “awakened” as a burial team prepared to take him away for cremation.
The incident was witnessed by Dr Richard Besser, who was filming a segment in Monrovia, Liberia for Good Morning America.
Dr Besser addressed the camera as the burial team transferred the man’s body onto a sheet of plastic.
Sadly Dr Besser warns the man is unlikely to survive
As they prepared to wrap him up, he begins to stir, with the camera capturing the man’s arm twitching.
Despite this, Dr Besser warns: “I don’t know where they can take him, there are no hospitals to treat him.”
He adds: “It doesn’t look to me like he’s going to be able to make it, there are very few signs of life.”