These quotes “predicting” coronavirus are from two different books

27 February 2020
What was claimed

A book published in 1981 said that in 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness would spread across the world, and calling it “Wuhan-400”.

Our verdict

These lines are from two different books: one is from a book of predictions by a psychic published in 2008 that predicted a pneumonia-like illness, and “Wuhan-400” is a fictional disease from a sci-fi book published in 1981 that bears little similarity to the new Wuhan coronavirus.

Several people on Facebook have claimed that a book from the 1980s predicted the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. The posts show photos of the front cover of “The Eyes of Darkness” by Dean Koontz, and two photos of pages referencing illnesses that, when put together, sound similar to the new Wuhan coronavirus (now known as Covid-19).

But these photos show pages from two different books: one is from a 1981 novel describing a fictional “biological weapon”, and the other is a prediction from a 2008 book written by a self-proclaimed psychic.

“The Eyes of Darkness” is a science fiction novel published in 1981. It references a fictional “biological weapon” called “Wuhan-400” that was designed to kill people but inadvertently gives one child psychic abilities.

The fictional “Wuhan-400” and Covid-19 have little in common, bar that they both have some association with the Chinese city of Wuhan. The book says of “Wuhan-400” that “Once infected, no one lives more than twenty-four hours” and that its “kill-rate is one hundred percent”, something that is not true of Covid-19, which probably has a fatality rate of around 2%.

The other book that appears in the posts is called “End of Days: Predictions and prophecies about the end of the world” co-written by “psychic and spiritual teacher” Sylvia Browne, and published in 2008. It claims that “In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tubes and resisting all known treatments.”

We’ve written more about the books and what they both describe here.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as partly false because although the quotes are from published books, they are from two different books and when read separately do not sound like the Wuhan coronavirus.

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